NASCAR wins Sports Business Journal’s ‘Sports League of the Year’

Amid NASCAR’s return to racing in 2020, the sport innovated in multiple ways that it never had before while simultaneously navigating multiple interactions with America’s social justice reckoning. The sport publicly backed driver Bubba Wallace when he wore an “I can’t breathe” shirt before a race, when he ran a Black Lives Matter paint scheme at a different race, and when he was involved with the highly publicized noose incident at Talladega Superspeedway.

It also introduced several new races to the 2021 schedule. “We’ve got momentum,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said while accepting the award. “More importantly, we’ve got relevance.”

He touted NASCAR’s ability to help lead the nation in returning to live sports. “It was an important thing for us to do as a sport,” Phelps added.” He said the aftermath of George Floyd’s death allowed the league to define who it is and “created an entirely new face of NASCAR, one that is younger and more diverse.”

— Sports Business Journal —

The other nominees for the award were:

  • National Basketball Association
  • National Football League
  • National Hockey League
  • PGA Tour
  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
  • Women’s National Basketball Association