NASCAR continued its resumption of the 2020 season following a pause due to the coronavirus pandemic with the latest race, the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 in Atlanta, on Sunday. Before things got underway, NASCAR president Steve Phelps shared a message with drivers and held a moment of silence in honor of George Floyd, an African-American man in Minneapolis who was killed when a police officer, who was caught on video, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
"Our country is in pain and people are justifiably angry, demanding to be heard," said Phelps in his message.
"The black community and all people of color have suffered in our country and it has taken far too long for us to hear their demands for a change. Our sport must do better. Our country must do better. The time is now to listen, to understand and to stand against racism and racial injustice. We ask our drivers, our competitors and all our fans to join us in this mission to take a moment of reflection."
The death of Floyd has shaken the country to its core and sparked protests all across the United States. The fired Minneapolis police officer seen on video pressing his knee into Floyd's neck has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
, and following Sunday's moment of silence, NASCAR released a video featuring its drivers sharing their commitment to educating themselves on the issue and "to no longer be silent."
"The events of recent weeks highlighted the work we still need to do as a nation to condemn racial inequality and racism," drivers said together in the montage.
NASCAR drivers honored Floyd as well as Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by police officers nearly three months ago in her own home, and Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot and killed by two men while on a run in their neighborhood, in their message.