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The Michael Jordan and Bubba Wallace Takeover: Two Sports Icons Join Forces and Change the Game

Driver Bubba Wallace waits for the start of a NASCAR Cup Series auto race in June in Martinsville, Va.
Steve Helber/AP

By Shasa Revell, Staff Reporter

American race car driver Denny Hamlin announced Sept. 21, 2020, that he and National Basketball Association (NBA) icon and mogul, Michael Jordan, co-created a single Nascar Cup Series team for 2021, with the only Black top-level driver Bubba Wallace as the leader of the series.

The marquee partner, six-time NBA Champion Michael Jordan has made a major impact on the sports world throughout his 35-year plus career as arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, a majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets, businessman, and now the owner of a NASCAR team.

According to CNBC, Jordan is the first Black principal owner of a full-time racing team in the NASCAR series since legendary driver Wendell Scott.

Michael Jordan continues to reinvent himself. The billionaire seems to stay current with what’s going on in the sports world and makes sure he’s a part of it. Jordan has made history with his Jordan Brand and is known to be a trendsetter. He continues to pave the way for other athletes and those who are interested in leaving a legacy through business. His latest endeavor, partnering with Denny Hamlin and Bubba Wallace, has everyone in sports talking about how this move can change the future of NASCAR and foster diversity, which NASCAR lacks.

This single-car NASCAR Cup Series team will feature its driver, Alabama- native and renowned NASCAR driver, Bubba Wallace. Wallace is the only Black driver in NASCAR and has made his mark on the organization already.

The 26-year-old driver has evoked social change within NASCAR as he led the effort to ban the Confederate flag from the sport. Bubba is also vocal when it comes to unity, issues of racism, and social unrest.

“I think [Bubba] has the potential to be [a champion]. If I didn’t think so, I wouldn’t get into this,” Jordan told The Charlotte Observer.

“I see this as a chance to educate a new audience and open more opportunities for Black people in racing,” Jordan added.

Hamlin also commented on why he teamed up with Air Jordan to select rising star Bubba Wallace and how he was the right choice for this groundbreaking partnership.“It just makes sense now to lay the foundation for my racing career after I’m done driving and also help an up-and-coming driver like Bubba take his career to a higher level,” Hamlin said in a statement.

“Plus, Michael and Bubba can be a powerful voice together, not only in our sport but also well beyond it.”

Hamlin, who has tons of racing expertise, will be a vital asset to this trio as his experiences will add to Jordan’s and Wallace’s vision to dominate the sport.

Both, the sports world and the Black community, will probably be on their toes to see the effects of this partnership.

This announcement brought a sense of joy for many African Americans as it provided some representation in space, where they have not witnessed much diversity.

This move by Michael Jordan is just another example of his sharp business acumen. It keeps his followers anticipating what is next.