The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

June 18, 2008

KEN DE LA BASTIDE: NASCAR has image problem to fix

For the better part of two decades, NASCAR has been trying to distance itself from the image of rebel flags and rednecks with a brew in their hands, turning to the Madison Avenue gurus who determine where advertising dollars are spent.

This past week, NASCAR took a proverbial kick in the gearbox when a former technical official with the Nationwide Series filed a $225 million lawsuit, alleging racial and sexual harassment by other officials.

NASCAR had been patting itself on the back extolling its diversity program, but all of that grandstanding just went right down the tubes.

Not only was the complaint filed by a female technical inspector, but she also happened to be black, probably one of the few faces of color among the hundreds of people employed by NASCAR.

It doesn’t matter that NASCAR plays television commercials with blacks, Hispanics and women in racing settings. The truth of the matter is that there are no black Americans in the driver’s seat and no women. Bill Lester made an attempt to climb into the top tier of stock car racing, but was unable to secure sponsorship.

A woman hasn’t competed in a Sprint Cup race since Shawna Robinson competed in 2002. Before that, it was Janet Guthrie in 1977.

News of the lawsuit was bad enough for NASCAR, which immediately went on the offensive by claiming Mauricia Grant had never complained to the sanctioning body of problems with fellow employees.

Then, NASCAR suspended two male technical inspectors for allegedly exposing themselves to Grant. Classy move, gentlemen. I’m sure she was unimpressed.

In a society that has seen an ever-increasing list of sexual and racial harassment lawsuits being filed, it is hard to believe that NASCAR’s higher brass didn’t make sure this type of incident was avoided.

Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - HB0422 - AHS PH 4 Lady Tribe takes down county champs In sports, timing can be everything. For the Anderson Lady Tribe, the timing was perfect for an upset Monday night as they squared off with 2014 Madison County softball champion Pendleton Heights. Anderson took advantage of five Pendleton errors and pounded out seven hits to take a 12-5 win over the sixth-ranked Arabians.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0423 - PHHS golf 1 PH displays depth, dismantles Delta Three of Pendleton Heights top five golfers sat out Tuesday’s match against Delta, and the Arabians barely missed a beat. Tyler Meyer and Chase Simpson fired low nine-hole scores of 36 to pace the Arabians to a 159-190 victory over the Eagles.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0423 - AU baseball - 117 Heberling lifts Ravens to crucial win Cole Heberling's 11th-inning hit landed in right field for an RBI-single Tuesday, and the Anderson University baseball team moved into sole possession of second place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 6-5 victory against Rose-Hulman.

    April 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: Familiar names coming to Anderson

    Names familiar to racing fans will be competing this weekend at Anderson Speedway in the CRA Super Series and USSA Sprint Car Challenge.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0422 - Bremer mug George Bremer: Holmes becomes center of attention Khaled Holmes already was shaping up as one of the more interesting players to watch on the Indianapolis Colts' roster this summer. With Phil Costa's decision to retire on Monday, Holmes becomes one of the most vital.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Millers knock down M-G Class 2A Madison-Grant took a big step up to play Class 4A Noblesville in softball on Monday night, and the result was a 10-0 loss in five innings to the Millers.

    April 21, 2014

  • Area Roundup: Tigers rally to win ranked battle Alexandria rallied for three runs in the sixth inning to knock off Daleville 7-6 in a battle of ranked teams Monday night.

    April 21, 2014

  • Mike Lopresti: Pacers remain puzzling So now what? The NBA playoffs began Saturday night, and nothing had changed. They are still the Indiana Puzzles. They are still the enigma that no one can explain, least of all themselves. They are still a shadow of December, only now, the defeats start to really hurt.

    April 20, 2014

  • 500 Festival Mini Marathon might not fill field

    With less than two weeks to go, the 38th 500 Festival Mini Marathon might not have a full field for the first time in 12 years.

    April 20, 2014

  • Lady Ravens refusing to lose

    The Anderson University softball team swept Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Transylvania University on Saturday at Raven Field to finish a perfect 8-0 at home this season.

    April 19, 2014