Michael Jordan is now dipping his feet into the world of competitive racing as he teams with NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin to create a new group for Bubba Wallace.
Hamlin announced the new collaboration for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series via Twitter on Monday. He wrote that he and Jordan, a friend of 11 years, are ready to take their partnership “to the next level” by creating a new NASCAR team fronted by Wallace, NASCAR’s only full-time Black driver.
“Deciding on a driver was easy – it had to be Bubba Wallace,” he wrote. “Bubba has shown tremendous improvement since joining the Cup Series and we believe he’s ready to take his career to a higher level.”
The veteran NASCAR driver went on to laud Wallace for his work both on and off the track, noting that “he has been a loud voice for change in our sport and our country.”
Wallace responded to Hamlin’s tweet with his own writing, “This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I believe is a great fit for me at this point in my career. I’m grateful and humbled that they believe in me and I’m super pumped to begin this adventure with them.”
Hamlin’s announcement come months after a noose was found in Wallace’s NASCAR garage. In June, amid the heat of the Black Lives Matter protests, Wallace condemned the “despicable act of racism and hatred” that served as a “painful reminder” of the amount of work there’s still left to do to combat racism in the United States. Despite FBI claims that no noose was found in Wallace’s garage, NASCAR apologized to the driver for the incident.
After the incident, NASCAR banned displays of the Confederate flag at all of its events and properties.
Read below for the full announcement.
This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I believe is a great fit for me at this point in my career. I’m grateful and humbled that they believe in me and I’m super pumped to begin this adventure with them.
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) September 22, 2020