A federal judge has dismissed a ridiculous civil rights lawsuit brought by a group of Miami Gardens residents in an attempt to stop Formula One from holding races at Hard Rock Stadium.
In a Tuesday order, District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. wrote that the suing residents provided no evidence that the county, Formula One and others conspired to intentionally discriminate against them by hosting the race at the stadium, where the Miami Dolphins play. Scola added that they failed to prove how hosting the race at the stadium was akin to hosting it in Downtown Miami, where Dolphins owner Stephen Ross originally wanted to hold the Miami Grand Prix before protests upended his efforts.
“Indeed, many of the complaint’s allegations indicate that the County’s decision was driven solely by race-neutral economic and political motivations,” wrote Scola, who also denied a request by the residents to amend their lawsuit and directed the clerk to close the case. “While it is certainly plausible that the harms alleged will disproportionately impact Black residents, simply by virtue of the fact that [more than 70%] of Miami Gardens’ population is Black, that alone is not enough to show discriminatory intent.”
Al Dotson Jr., the Dolphins’ attorney, told the Herald that the ruling came as no surprise.
“The claims were baseless,” Dotson Jr. said via email. “The excitement and positive enthusiasm in Miami and Miami Gardens around Formula One coming to South Florida is unprecedented. It’s going to benefit many people in South Florida, including Miami Gardens.”
Scola’s decision appeared to clear a path for Hard Rock Stadium to host its first Miami Grand Prix in 2022 as planned, as well as validate the case argued by the Miami Dolphins and Formula One.
“It is absurd to suggest that a general plan to hold a prestigious automotive race on the grounds of a world-class stadium — an event anticipated to bring hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of new jobs to South Florida —could be for the express purpose of racial discrimination,” the defendants’ attorneys wrote in their motion to dismiss.