Thursday, January 15, 2009

Siegel is right pick, but it will take support

NASCAR hit a ringing double on Wednesday, making a deal that puts Max Siegel in charge of managing the Drive for Diversity program.

In hiring Siegel, stock-car racing's leadership took a big step toward bringing a level of credibility to its diversity initiative. But as much as I thnk of Siegel, I will tell you right now that his name and his efforts alone can not turn the hire into the home run that NASCAR needs in this important at bat.

Siegel left Dale Earnhardt Inc., where he was president of global operations, to go back to Baker & Daniels, an Indianapolis legal firm where he'd worked from 1992 through 1994. That firm, with Siegel leading the effort, will take over management of the Drive for Diversity program.

In no way do I mean this to be criticism leveled at Access Marketing, which managed the diversity program in its first five years. The folks who ran the program with that company did about as much as they could have given the level of financial commitment the program has received. You can only do so much with what you get.

I hope Siegel's appointment means that NASCAR is going to get serious about diversity. If that's not what happens, I don't think Siegel will stay on the job very long. I don't think he's going to put up with being a show pony for a program if has no real backing.

I've said it before and I still believe that NASCAR needs to put a lot money behind the whole function of driver development, and diversity is a big piece of that process. Developing drivers of all colors and genders is an investment in this sport's future, and especially in these tough times NASCAR needs to put its money where its future is.

NASCAR officials will tell you that they don't think it's proper for the sanctioning body to pick out drivers to support financially over others. But that's the whole reason the Drive for Diversity program was set up to be run by an outside agency like Access Marketing and now Baker & Daniels in the first place. NASCAR supports the program and then the program picks the drivers and administers the financial support.

That structure works just fine, or at least it could. But NASCAR's level of support could be - and absolutely should be - ramped up.

I think 5 percent of every deal NASCAR has or makes with an "official" sponsor should be earmarked for driver development. If it costs a company $2 million a year to be the "official" tofu of NASCAR, then $100,000 of that should go toward driver development.

That sounds like a pittance, but the 5 percent rule should apply to every deal NASCAR makes - including the title sponsorship deal with Sprint and the television contract. Sprint's deal is supposedly right at $70 million a year. That's $3.5 million for development. The television contract averages about $500 million a year. That's $25 million. (All of that shouldn't come out of NASCAR's share of the TV money - the 2 percent should come off first before the drivers and owners (through race purses) and the tracks get their share. Everybody should be contributing to this.)

According to a list on NASCAR.com, there are about 50 "official" sponsorship deals in place. At $100,000 a pop (and that's just a wild guess), that's another $5 million for development. So we're at $33.5 million. Even if that's 10 percent off, we're still looking at $30 million a year that could be used to help develop young drivers.

I think if NASCAR gave Siegel that kind of nest egg and set him loose, the return on that investment would be huge down the road.

Anybody who compares where DEI is today to where it was when Siegel came on board and hangs that on Siegel doesn't even begin to know the whole story. That boat was already taking on water and Siegel bailed as hard as he could. The fact that there was enough of DEI left to merge with Chip Ganassi Racing had a lot to do with what Siegel did there.

Siegel quickly built a lot of respect in this sport, and it's good for NASCAR that he's staying in racing. No industry needs to lose people with Siegel's talent and character, and NASCAR certainly would have missed having a black man like Siegel working with it on one of the most important issues this sport faces.

I have no doubt that Siegel will go to work addressing those issues. If he gets the backing he should get, I have no doubt he will help make a real difference.

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

Putting all this money into "diversity" is probably one of the stupidest ideas yet. Millions set aside to bring minorities into NASCAR? Why? NASCAR is not life. It is not going to improve mankind. What a pc goal that masks what the true problems effecting minorities.

You want to involve minorities? Take Tiger Woods initiative. He does not focus on golfing, even though he would like to see that happen. The first priority for his organization is GRADES in school. You have to study and appy yourself or you are booted out. Period. He feels being a productive part of society far outweighs the goal of playing golf.

Look at Tony Dungy. He wants to help kids graduate from high school, not be part of the NFL. I'm in Chicago, where minority students have less than a 40% graduating rate. AND YOU THINK MILLIONS ON NASCAR wanna-bes is a smart move? Please. There are millions of white guys who will never make it. Life is more than NASCAR.

Minorities, especially blacks, have way more problems that have nothing to do with opportunities.

I was involved in a diversity program, mandated by the US government. Our biggest obsticle was that black kids as a whole did not have a stable homelife. Not one of the kids had a 2-parent household. (75% are born to an unwed mother).

When we had fund-raisers, NO EVEN ONE of the mothers (most on government aid), came out to help. Families were invited, so there were no childcare excuses.

I say spend the money getting kids out of gangs, give more aid to tutoring in schools, clean up neighborhoods (graffitti, garbage, etc), raise high school graduation rates, etc. Forget feeding the perception that someone is keeping you from being a NASCAR star driver.

In the drive for diversity, our organization also had to target another minority. No matter how hard we tried, we could never get those kids to join our organization. Those kids preferred to be in the chess club, the chemistry club, the math club, etc. At the end of the report, we were criticized for not having a single Asian kid join. Weird proirities!

David Poole said...

Anonymous 1 -- Your point seems to be that increasing diversity in NASCAR wouldn't solve all of society's ills. I certainly agree with you there. But that's so not the point. Creating opportunities for drivers to advance their racing careers helps NASCAR, not society. NASCAR would be investing in its own future. Like any other company that does internship or college recruitment programs does.
As for this statement: "Our biggest obsticle was that black kids as a whole did not have a stable homelife. Not one of the kids had a 2-parent household. (75% are born to an unwed mother)." -- I would ask you to cite your sources on that 75 percent figure. To me, it sounds like the kind of stereotypical view that gets in the way of any real solutions of the kind of problems you quite accurately bemoan.

nh_nascarfan said...

Bravo Anonymous!

You hit the nail right on the head... diversity programs are meant to do nothing more than make people 'feel good' about inequities between different groups yet rarely manage to solve the bigger issues of 'why' the problems exist in the first place.

The double standard that exists is huge; let’s have a diversity program to get more white people in the NBA. Or more women into the NFL.

NASCARs issues right now are so much larger than the fact that some journalists are embarrassed about it being ‘too white’ of a sport.

Anonymous said...

Let's get to the core of the problem with this article.It is written by writer that works for the Charlotte Observer...so right off the bat he #1.Thinks he knows more about this than anyone else.#2.Thinks because he thinks this way you and I should think this way.
He is also a liberal....so he #1 thinks that white drivers,team owners etc.should give up whats theres to minorities....he would also love to write a article about letting gays into nascar..but he's waiting and hoping that a driver will come out of the closet and reveal that he's gay to him so he can have all the glory for breaking the news and he then want get shunned by real men for supporting gays in nascar.
He's also a bleeding heart liberal who will do his best to try to convince us that the fall of nascar is the result of the Bush administration...and he will write till he cramps up trying to convince us that we are obligated to attend races and buy tshirts.
I wonder though....Mr. Poole...with all of your expertise in this area..are you willing to give your job to a gay muslim.

nh_nascarfan said...

David,

Driver development for all is good, not just minorities. If NASCAR wants to help develop young drivers, they need to turn their attention to helping the track owners of Americas short tracks, which are dying off every year. Getting young kids into racing - be them black, white or purple - wont help if there aren’t any tracks left to race on.

Its time for all of us to stop focusing on the ‘black kid with talent’ or the ‘Spanish kid with talent’ as opposed to where we should be – looking for the kid with talent. To do anything other than that is racist to the core.

Anonymous said...

Let me start by saying...I work in an economically disadvantaged area.

BUT...why should NASCAR fund a way for ANYONE to make it in this profession? Why does one's ethnic, racial or any other background make it 'fair' that someone help them and not someone else? Right now, the new drivers coming in are the ones whose families had the money to give them all the right equipment and all the right rides (read that "sponsorships"). And, yes, for the most part, these are causcasian men. However, not 'every' caucasian male that wants to be in NASCAR will get the chance...why? Because his family is unable to draw a second mortgage on their home; or doesn't even own a home to have a mortgage. Yet they have that dream.

So why is it we think this program should be aimed at the type of diversity program that is being talked about? Why can't it PURELY be aimed at developing PEOPLE for jobs in NASCAR? Not specific 'types' of people......but ALL PEOPLE who are interested.

I'm all for programs that bring racing to other 'categories' of people....but, if it is opportunities for helping one toward a career, it should be for anyone interested.

And, by the way, I have a daughter who is interested in racing who may very well benefit from this type of diversity program...I'd rather her benefit from a program that involves everyone that is interested --- so she'd know she beat the best of the best...not just the 'best that were allowed in the program'.

JMO David. I'm not against diversity...but I'm against using that as a way of excluding others from the same type of help.

And, I agree with the other poster as well....if we want to improve the sport....NASCAR needs to start at the grassroots level.

Lynn

Barry in Tennessee said...

"That boat was already taking on water and Siegel bailed as hard as he could. The fact that there was enough of DEI left to merge with Chip Ganassi Racing had a lot to do with what Siegel did there."

That, sir, is pure speculation on your part and I'm sure was thrown in by you to help with the whole "feel good" nature of your story.

Siegel had zero experience in running a racing organization. His results were about what would be expected from someone with zero experience.

I'd say you got about as much right with the rest of the piece as you did with your report on Labonte driving the 8 car... Filed the very day before he announced he would be driving the 96 car.

Nice job, Poole. I'd be a little worried if I were you, what with all those laid-off NASCAR journalists looking for jobs.

By the way, are any of those laid-off journalists minorities?

No?

Are there any minority journalists that cover NASCAR for the print press?

No?

I think I have identified another area where we should start a drive for diversity.

Let's also have NASCAR devote 5% of their resources to finding minority print journalists. (Of course they'll have to hire some foundation to run it so as not to appear to be influencing press coverage, but that's just a mere technicality.)

If we find a young black journalist that can take the place of some old overweight white guy, who cares? In the big picture, we're all supposed to feel better then, right?

Anonymous said...

The "Diversity" programs that NASCAR and some of the teams have chosen to enact in the last decade or so are puzzling. Is NASCAR et al saying by these programs that stockcar racing is racist by its very nature? Is NASCAR saying these programs are needed to cure systemic bigotry in racing? If either of these options lived in truth the weight of Title VII lawsuits against the sport and its teams would be maddening. Yet, no such landslide of these lawsuits has occurred.

The fact that remains is that the vast majority -- to almost an exclusive number -- of those citizens who like auto racing happen to be white and live outside of the downtowns of major cities. This fact, by its very nature, limits the number of government proclaimed "Minorities" that would either have an interest in this sport as a mere fan or as a participant.

I watch the NBA -- where most players are black, I watch the NFL -- where most of the players are black -- and no time do I as a white person think, "I can't like this since most of the players are of a different race." No, I assume since the teams of the NBA and NFL pay their players large salaries I assume those individuals playing are the most qualified people as determined by those teams. And I assume the same when I watch a Cup or N-wide or truck race. On any given Sunday there exist in the world no more than about 50 human beings who can drive a NASCAR Cup car to its peak efficiency. Since the teams and sponsors are paying for those odd four dozen people on those Sundays, then I must assume they're right in how they spend their money. I’m very sure if somewhere out there existed a black or Hispanic or woman that could beat Jimmie Johnson by five hundreds at Lowe’s, someone would put his/hers ass in a car.

It is up to NASCAR if it wishes to spend money to somewhere-somehow find a competent driver that might shut-up the likes of Jesse Jackson and maybe assuage some latent attitudes that France, Inc. thinks its fanbase might hold. But for me I'll root for the driver of my choice regardless of that driver’s race or any other meaningless statistic...so long at that driver's in a Ford.

John said...

The fact of the matter is that in our lifetime, Caucasians will no longer be the majority race in the United States, and the population of future workers is shrinking after the boomers retire. Believe it or not, the face of the American workforce is changing today. ALL coorporations are developing diversity inclusion programs not so that they can feel good about themselves, but more so to ensure they have a skilled workforce for the future. NASCAR is forward thinking in this matter, not only to maintain a trained workforce for themselves, but to also recognize the potential changing face of the future population of fans.

nh_nascarfan said...

John,

It’s going to be a long time before whites are the minority in this country. Not that I am stating that is good or bad, it’s just a fact.

The reality is that there are fans of NASCAR racing and there are non-fans of NASCAR racing, and no amount of diversity policy will change that.

Yes, NASCAR happens to be a largely white sport. Big deal. So does hockey, but nobody has been preaching that all of the problems with the NHL (and there are indeed many) is because of a lack of black players.

Let’s get off the whole black/white/male/female/Hispanic categorizing, as long as we continue to place people into groups, rather than as human beings, racism will always exist.

Those that call for diversity problems, as well as those that call for affirmative action programs, do the opposite of what they intend on doing; they encourage differences.

Monkeesfan said...

Diversity = quotas. No organization has any business promoting "diversity" because it's simply not a viable goal. Creating opportunities for drivers is one thing (and a positive thing); diversity initiatives, though, are not about that, they're about quotas.

Poole, Anon #1's 75% figure isn't necessarily that far off - Thomas Sowell among others has shown this figure to be credible.

Monkeesfan said...

John, I don't buy that - I've seen research from Nicholas Eberstadt that indicates this "caucasions will no longer be the majority race" argument isn't all it's cracked up to be. Corporations don't need "diversity" initiatives to get skilled workforces.

David Poole said...

OK, folks. If you read what I wrote you will note that I said NASCAR should spend money on driver development and that diversity should be a piece of that. At no point did I ever say that NASCAR should spend all of its driver development money on minority candidates. But any such program should have a diversity element to it. If NASCAR is going to look for the next generation of talented drivers, why should it limit itself to looking only among white men?
The argument that only white men can drive race cars is a ridiculous assumption on the face of it. Anybody ever hear of Lewis Hamilton? There are dozens and dozens of young men and women of all colors who are showing an interest in racing all over this country.

If you don't think racism and intolerance is a problem for this sport, read the fourth comment on this list. What possible reason would there be for anybody to care who a race car driver does or does not have sex with? What does that have to do with anything, except for the hompphobia of anybody who would bring it up?

Barry in Tennessee, yes there are women and people of color who make their living every day in the media side of NASCAR. There are also officials and crew members from all races and genders. NASCAR is not going to die if the driving ranks look more like America, too.

Anonymous said...

from anon@ 9:53

NBC interview by Tim Russert. quoted on 1-14-09 on the Black Agenda Report. Interviewed was Alvin F Poussaint, MD from Harvard University and co-author with Bill Cosby "Come on People"

Poussaint leads off stating that "70 percent of Black babies are born to unwed mothers," a statistical fact. Russert asks, "What's the model for a two-parent home?" - a lame question whose obvious answer is: a home with both parents living in it - but whose purpose is to open the discussion of ingrained deformities in Black social organization, the alleged root of all ghetto evils. Poussaint, who shares with Cosby a primary focus on Black males.
-----

My bad, I should have said 70%, not 75%.

Others who have used the 70% number include Clarence Page on NPR on 1-15-09 when talking about "Out-of-Wedlock Births in Black America"

There is also Eugene Cane, a black writer for Milwaukee Journal Sentinal--he said 70% black out of wedlock births.

The Atlantic on 7-10-08 quotes Stephen Thernstrom from the Times (I assume NYT), and says 70%.

National Policy Institute qotes a n Indiana Balck Expo report and it says 80% of black babies born to unwed mothers/ 1-28-08 (I assume these are state figures unlike the others that were national figures.

A simple search will give thousands more stats.

Anonymous said...

Looks like quite a few sources, huh?

Anonymous said...

"Developing drivers of all colors and genders is an investment in this sport's future,.."

Incredible. What a joke. Blacks dont even like stock car racing and never did. What we demand is for pro sports like NBA NFL MLB have a Drive for Diversity and develop people of white color or the caucasian European American race to get back into playing the games they invented and businesses they created.
Fair is fair. African Americans are 13% and Asian Americans of the red yellow race are about 18% and this includes mexicans etc. America is down to only 70% white European American race so we need to have 70% in the NBA NFL and MLB that has a majority Hispanics only. We know over 95% of all paying fans are white anyway in any sport. Do you really think blacks would pay to see white play? Yes rite.

Diversity is not a one way street like they play it. Two or three can play this game.

In racing you also have to pull your own weight and do good to get paid. No advance multi-zillion dollar contracts.

David Poole said...

The idea that only white men are "interested" in being race car drivers is a provable lie. I just got this email today:

More than 250 women from 38 states and five countries have attended Lyn St. James’ Women in the Winner’s Circle Driver Development Academy since its inception in 1994.
All of the following women who've been in that program will be attempting to compete in 2009:

Jessica Brannam
Jessica Brunelli
Kristin Bumbera
Tiffany Daniels
Gabi DiCarlo
Sarah Fisher
Ashley Freiberg
Natacha Gachnang
Jennifer Greenberg
Kristy Kester
Julia Landauer
Alison MacLeod
Alli Owens
Danica Patrick
Megan Reitenour
Natalie Sather
Caitlin Shaw
Samantha Taylor
Miranda Throckmorton

You think any of them, short of maybe Danica, couldn't use some backing to try to make their dreams come true?

Anonymous said...

My 2 kids have run marathons for about 5 years. There has not been a single white guy win in any of the marathons they have run. Does that stop them? No. They know that the chances a white guy from CA will ever beat a black from Nigeria or other sub-Sahara Africa country will ever win is nil and none.

They still train for 4 months every year. They don't try to limit balcks from entering every race.

One great big problem to all diversity programs is that they want equality of RESULTS!! If they don't get the results, then someone is not giving their "victim" enough opportunuity or chances to suceed. The seed of discontent are planted to mean that racizm is alive and well.

Show me where a minority has been denied the opportunity to race, then we can talk. Just becasue they don't make it does not mean anything other than they don't have what it takes.

My youngest son played water polo in high school. All white team. The football team was VERY blck as was the basketball team. They had a big push to "intergrate" the polo team.

In case you don't know, water polo is a very physical sport. Anyway, during tryouts, it was obvious that the black guys could not swim very well. They would have had to had a lifeguard to every game!

The balck kids had about 2-4 years of experience swimming, compared to the white kids who all had been swimming since they were 3-6 years old. Thay meant about an average of 10 years experience.

Same thing happened in college. He played crew. All white team. The football team was mostly black, as was basketball. But that has not stopped critics from trying to get blacks into water sports. Why?

Anonymous said...

Name the person who is stopping them from cometing. I bet you can get thousands of young people to ask for a hand in getting ahead. Why does someone get to go to the front of the line? Oh, I get it, if I'm black I get cuts? Put the white males at the end of the line.

Anonymous said...

Who on earth said that only white men can drive? That is just an arguement Poole puts up but cannot give a quote.

Instead of putting forth a good afguement, just accuse and insult so that those who don't agree have to go on defense.

John said...

Poole

In your next post can you manage to weave Prop 8 and putting the manger out next to City Hall. I don't think the race issue is quite incendiary enough for your readers.

Anonymous said...

DP,

Please list by year, how many blacks you have tutored in the art of journalism.

How many blacks have you taken to the track and introduced to NASCAR drivers? How many hours do you personally spend helping minority students?

How many blacks have you given a letter of recomendation for a job at the Observer?

Why should NASCAR be forced to do something you are not willing to do?

Spanky said...

Gentleman
Job well done no need for what I am thinking Somebody other than me this time Poole

David Poole said...

Anonymous 6:57 pm -- OK, two things. First, I have helped everybody I can who covers NASCAR learn the ropes the same way people helped me when I came in. Regardless of their color or gender. I don't keep score. Second, your comparison is ridiculously irrelevant. I am not the newspaper industry or even my company. But the newspaper industry as a whole and McClatchy newspapers all have programs to develop young talent. In my career, I served as an intern at two different papers and was helped incredibly by a program funded and run by Dow Jones called the Newspaper Fund. That program developed young journalists of all colors and genders -- the same way I am saying NASCAR should.

Anonymous 4:04 pm - I never said any person was stopping them. What I said was that NASCAR should spend more money creating opportunities for more young drivers of all colors and genders developed their skills and interest in the sport, so that it doesn't come down to who has a rich daddy or whose parents can sell everything they own and mortgage themselves into oblivion to give their kids a chance. I know people do that, but why should they have to if the sport could support a program that takes away some of that burden?

nh_nascarfan said...

David,

If all you meant was for NASCAR supporting all good young drivers, you would have said that. Thats not the case. You made a big case in your blog for diversity programs, meaning minorities and women as oppose to the terrible white males who are in the sport.

The problem with diversity programs is that they favor one group over another, which is always wrong. Whats the difference between me saying that we need to have a program for more whites in the NBA as opposed to you saying we need a program for more blacks in NASCAR? There is none, and in as racist as my statement would be, yours is just as so.

I think the real root of the problem is that many of those covering the sport are ashamed at the reputation it has among the liberal elite... white, southern, and full of rednecks. The difference is that NASCAR fans dont care what the liberal elite think about them, as opposed to journalists who are perhaps not taken as seriously in the industry because of the sport they cover.

Anonymous said...

DP,

I guess what you want to be able to do is to force or advocate what a privately owned company does with its profit.

You wrote: Second, your comparison is ridiculously irrelevant. I am not the newspaper industry or even my company.

That's the problem with folks like you who want OTHERS to make things right or good for the less advantaged. I was a volunteer literacy teacher at a homeless shelter for a long time. That was my avocation. My day job? I am a teacher. I say that if you see a need, try and fill it, it gives a lot more credibility.

The first school I taught ended up with so many programs for minorities, that they took over the school calendar. So, the school ended up giving the families vouchers for the services. The parents were furious. They wanted the services to be one stop and at school. (Sevices were dental care, eye care, vaccines, etc.)

As most of us who are parents know, when you give your kids EVERTHING, they don't appreciate it as much as if they had to work for it. That applies to adults too.

As a 30-year literacy volunteer teacher, I can tell you that our group of teachers has better results than the government sponsored paid tutors. That's why I wondered whose life you might have helped.

David Poole said...

NH NASCAR fan:
I said that NASCAR should invest in driver development and that diversity should be a piece of that. That's what I believe.
"Terrible white males" was your phrase, not mine. And you said "the problem with diversity programs is that they favor one group over another, which is always wrong. What's the difference between me saying that we need to have a program for more whites in the NBA as opposed to you saying we need a program for more blacks in NASCAR?"
The difference is that never at any time did the NBA have a policy against having white players. In NASCAR, you had people running tracks literally not accepting the entry of Wendell Scott. I didn't make that up. It happened. The liberal media didn't make that up.
It's not about shame. It's just bad business.

Tom said...

Siegal is a looser. All the info provided was slanted. Thebest thing he did was bring back an engine program that had proven successful previously. Loosing Junior was a mistake that would have gotten most CEOs fired. If he did not realize what millions of fans did reguarding Jr. how can one assert that he has the ability to lead NASCAR in the development issue. NASCAR has more young drivers than it has ever had now. It really does not need any more right now. Asserting that fans must have a person of a certain color to support is being a bigot. Let the sport be open to all who are willing to pay the price. Let the others sit in the stands or change tires.

Mark said...

No the problem with diversity, Mr. Poole, is this: apparently every racial group in this country is entitled to at least as much success in every area of life as whites. If they have less success the automatic assumption is that it's due to "lack of opportunity" or discrimination. Of course it's OK for these groups to be more successful than whites. When that happens, as with Asians and Jews, then it's OK and it's because of their hard work. But when whites are more successful than, say, Hispanics and blacks, it's only because of discrimination, not because of the effort of whites. Every minority group in this country is entitled to be at least as successful as whites. That means that they'll only be happy when whites are on the bottom.

People like you make me puke. You're all frickin' idiots.

Monte Dutton's Out of Tune Guitar said...

Poole's out of his mind on this one. He thinks a private company should devote 5% of its sponsorship revenue to diversity. Especially a business that gets the majority of its revenue through corporate sponsorship. It's great when he spends other people's money. What percentage of revenue does McClatchey spend on diversity? How much does Sirius/XM give towards diversity? How much does David personally give to diverse inititatives? Why not mandate that every race team provide 5% of sponsor revenue toward diversity? Siegel's a great hire, no doubt. David has no idea how much NASCAR has provided towards Drive for Diversity. It's far more than he thinks, I guarantee you. NASCAR has already mandated in many of its official deals that money is earmarked for diversity. This is a fact. They do the same for the NASCAR Foundation and its charitable efforts. It's time for Pontificating Poole to get off his high horse and just cover the sport which provides him a very good living.

Anonymous said...

Looks to me that David Poole is a follower of the Obamessiah and his socialist agenda. 5% = pfffffft!

You shot yourself in the leg with this blog David.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jabba the Hut.

I was at Dale Earnhardt Day this past year, and saw you talking to Max Siegel, you practically had your lips to his butt then too, as you do now with this blog.

I do support diversity in Nascar, not just minorities, but women as well. However, let's take a look at the bigger picture here shall we?

I see black Nascar officials all over the place at the races now, so doesn't that count? I guess those guys are just the working peons, so they are off your radar. Where is the mention of Bill Lester? Doesn't he drive the trucks? Why don't you champion him? He is out of a ride after all, I guess that doesn't count.

OOOOO I got a good one, does Marcos Ambrose not qualify as diverse, he is from the down under? Mate.

I am wondering how much you supported more diversity in Nascar before you wrote this, or before you planted your lips firmly on Max's butt.

I have one that could solve all of this trouble, just make a push for uglier people in Nascar, that will solve all of the ills. Too Many "pretty" boys. Another idea is how about using the money the drivers spend on drugs to finance the program, there you have it, millions no longer going up their noses.

So, I will leave on this note. We could have muslims run this program, you know, they go fast, especially when they have bombs strapped to their bodies. How diverse do you want to go, Jabba?

Anonymous said...

DP,

Like most liberals, you think that all you have to do is throw money at a problem, and it will be solved. Mostly, you want to throw someone else's money. Money is not what works.

I'm in Chicago. The land of Obama. There is so much money thrown around here, and the pathologies of the black community just keep getting worse. High school dropouts are at an all time high. Even ones that graduate can hardly read their own diplomas. Black on black killings are so high that this past year, we had more murders here than deaths in Iraq. (You're in the news business, look it up.)

Look at your title for this piece. "Siegel is right pick..." Why? Because he's black? Is that the only attribute that is needed?

I read the piece on ESPN. He recieved the Racial Harmony Award from the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding in 2007. So, does that give him qulifications for this job? I don't know, but is he just a nicer version of the Revered Jesse Jackson, who held up NASCAR for hundreds of thousands of dollars?

Siegel also said that his goal is to continue learning about the sport (he only joined the sport in 2007) and become an owner in the future.

To me, he is just using this as a stepping stone to personal goals. Nice. If he were white, most would say that is a conflict of interest. In the liberal community, "he's the right pick".

Anonymous said...

DP wrote:
I think if NASCAR gave Siegel that kind of nest egg and set him loose, the return on that investment would be huge down the road.

---------------------

What gives you so much faith in Siegel? What has he ever done to get that much support from you?

Anonymous said...

DP,

In case you doubt me. Posted 9-5-08

CHICAGO (CBS) ―

An estimated 125 people were shot and killed over the summer. That's nearly double the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq over the same time period.

In May, cbs2chicago.com began tracking city shootings and posting them on Google maps. Information compiled from our reporters, wire service reports and the Chicago Police Major Incidents log indicated that 125 people were shot and killed throughout the city between the start of Memorial Day weekend on May 26, and the end of Labor Day on Sept. 1.

According to the Defense Department, 65 U.S. soldiers were killed in combat in Iraq.
--------------------

I wonder if Siegel will be looking in Chicago for NASCAR drivers. And just because Siegel is black does not mean he is safe here. 100% of the above murder victims were black.

Anonymous said...

"100% of the above murder victims were black."

Wow. There's hope for y'all after all.

nh_nascarfan said...

David Poole said...
'The difference is that never at any time did the NBA have a policy against having white players. In NASCAR, you had people running tracks literally not accepting the entry of Wendell Scott. I didn't make that up. It happened. The liberal media didn't make that up. It's not about shame. It's just bad business.'

Yes, David, it did happen. And does it happen today? No. Slavery happened too, and that also doesn’t happen today. In fact, as a nation, we have made enough inroads to elect a black president.

Yes, racism exists. But do we need to favor one group over another to 'make up for it'? Do we need to discriminate the poor white, southern boy who dreams to be a NASCAR driver so that we can 'make up' for the fact that at one time some track owners refused to allow blacks to race? How do you think that little white boy will feel when the little black boy gets a break over him because of his skin color? David, can you explain the difference for me between that and telling a black kid he can’t race because of his skin color? Please, I still fail to see your logic? What I do see though is a little boy (be it black or white) who will learn very quickly to hate the other skin color. How about this idea… how about supporting any little boy – or girl – who has the desire to race? How about ignoring skin color, gender, nationality, or religion altogether? Diversity programs, by their very nature, fail to do this. If 10 kids who all happen to be white want to race, a diversity program will go out of its way to find a few black kids who may be interested… just to make guys like DP feel good about the past sins in this nation. And we are supposed to believe that is not wrong thinking.

Was it bad business? Sure, any time you turn away paying customers, its bad business. But the reality is that while investing in driver development is good, trying to make up for past sins by favoring one group over another just continues the problem that you are feeling guilty over. Racism is racism, whether you favor blacks or whites.

Diversity programs, quotas, and affirmative action are all shams, designed to make people 'feel good' about problems in society, the reality is that the very premise of these ideas breed hatred and racism.

Martin Luther King Jr: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

I don’t see anything about diversity programs, quotas, or affirmative action. In fact, I see the exact opposite.

Anonymous said...

nh,

Very well put, but you will never convince DP and his type that any policy that punishes or rewards one group over another, fixes nothing.

What I don't understand is that many of these folks have never done anything personally to help a minority. Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg had NEVER hired a black person to her office in the some 20 years. She's all for affirmetive action, and yet her actions revealed something else.

I know that NASCAR has to walk a fine line, but I hope they limit how much they will pay all those who continue to blackmail them.

Anonymous said...

What a great group of barely closet racists.

Your Moms have to be proud you grew up just like her.

Anonymous said...

David,

I applaud your honesty, sincerity and sensitivity. Please understand you may be fighting a losing battle against a horribly ignorant community of racists and bigots.

It is possible we must accept they will never change and NASCAR is doomed to repeat its years of terrible discrimination.

So be it. The bastards deserve each other and their biased world.

Pick your battles, kind sir.

The NASCAR snakes who speak agianst your opinion deserve their own continent......ideally far away, or in another galaxy.

I detest every racist naysayer and wish for each one, the pain their inability to recognize their shortcomings causes.

They should take their bigotry to Hell, and stay there !

Anonymous said...

To 6:33,
Your right!But,David Poole wrote this and this is all about him and what he thinks.He's always telling the fans who to pull for etc.He'll even tell the fans to spend their money on nascar,he says it's their duty.And let me assure you of this.Lets say a team has a black driver,and lets say he runs good,and lets say he even wins a race.The only way Poole would write anything positive about him would be if he drives a chevy,or drives for HMS.Because in the eyes of the NOVICE race fan Mr.David Poole,HMS is what runs nascar and without HMS nascar would cease to exsist.

Anonymous said...

Crack me up..........

talking about people you don't know being 'racist' (not you David, I'm referring to the poster) because they believe in an equal chance for ANYONE

Do you know the people who posted here? You don't know me; you have no idea what I look like, what my family looks like or is made up of, or anything else about me.

A direct quote from you (dear Anonymous):

"I detest every racist naysayer and wish for each one, the pain their inability to recognize their shortcomings causes. They should take their bigotry to Hell, and stay there !"

Do you really wish people this....if so, you have a bigger problem than someone who feels that everyone should have an equal chance/opportunity....

I'm just saying.....

Lynn

lesismore34 said...

David Poole, you are 1,000% right. NASCAR must invest in it's future and increase more opportunities for minorities people.

Take it from an African-American who eats, sleeps, and dreams NASCAR for over 40 years, who himself started out a fan, graduated to a Racing Journalist and got into racing competitively, the biggest problem was money and the lask of it.

If I had Corporate Sponsorship or someone with deep pockets I would have changed the NASCAR World 20 years ago. But because the NASCAR Community, the fans, Corporate America, the Media, and NASCAR itself was not ready for change, change didn't come for minority fans.

Look at all the African-American people who have come along over the years and only had limited success. Wendell Scott, Charley Scott, Randy Bethra, Willy T. Ribbs, Joe Washington with Dr.J, Pro Football's Tim Brown, Doc Watson, George Wilshire, Joe Henderson, Len Miller, Morty Buckles, Sam Belnavis, Bruce Driver, Nelly, Jim Brown, Bill Lester, Chris Bristol, Les Montgomery, and many, many more. As long as there has been NASCAR there has been minority interest and involvement in this sport.

As for NASCAR's Drive for Diveristy, the D4D Program has aided more women and Hispanics than African-Americans. There are more Hispanic Drivers in NASCAR because the D4D Program and the Hispanic Community supports their drivers. The African-American Community will come around only after NASCAR shows a real interest in African-American dividuals.

The three main reason there has not been more minoirty inclusion in NASCAR. First, NASCAR itself has been slow to put minorities, mainly African-Americans in the fore front. There ahve not found a person or persons that they feel confordable with repersenting NASCAR racing.

Secondly, the media. There has been no African-American representation on TV who an African-American audience has identified with. Brad Doughty is doing a great job on ESPN, but most African-Americans see him as a Basketball player at North Carolina and Cleveland. There has to be more faces during race coverage than the token effort by ESPN. Hey, Speed TV whats up?

Number 3, MONEY! Corporate America has stop all the segrated marketing practises, demographics, whos buying what, and invest in minority efforts, dividuals, and teams who are making efforts to include African-American players. Since NASCAR has always been a White domorated sport, the smart and good business marketing is to sale to whos there, White People.

The biggest reason why Black Corporate America has not dove into NASCAR is because there are no Black drivers, pitcrew members, or fans to sale to, at the track, on TV or anywhere else.

Now is the time NASCAR support be ready to move on the African-American Community. Especially since NASCAR Jackets are the big fashions statement among young minorities. They are benefiting on this free advertisement wave, but when the fade dies down.

In the end, NASCAR must roll the dice, invest in minoirtes up front and on the surface if it is to continue to grow and posper.

We wish Max well, but if get the resources he needs to really create diversity, it going to be a long and kind of boring job.

nh_nascarfan said...

Oh, I get it... I think someone should not be favored over someone else because of skin color, and I am a raciest. A lot of other people out here as well. Typical liberal tactic, disagree with the politically correct stand and you are called names and shunned.

Pathetic. Why dont you instead back yourself up as to why we are raciest?

Lesismore, I feel for you, and dont disagree that racism has and in some areas, still does exist. But why should you based on you skin color get something that someone else cant? There are thousands of white kids who are in the same boat as you? Wouldnt that not be racism as well?

Anonymous said...

A lie is when someone intentionally deviates from the truth.

Please take a poll on how many whites attend races as opposed to blacks and the odds are staggering to say the least. 99.9% of fans at races are white.

We are talking "paying" fans here. You can take the same poll at NFL NBA games and there are 95% paying white fans in attendance.

Maybe some watch racing on tv but thats doubtful.

If blacks are so interested in racing where are all the black racers even in INDY car racing? Why are there no Drive for Diversity in Formular One Indy car racing?

Dont you think that just maybe they are picking on a southern sport as usual?

Where are the black drivers on the small circuits?

The fact is the powers that be and other politically correcters just want to maker certain that NASCAR and TV contracts are blackmailed and extorted to have a quota system to keep those rednecks in line. We know what they are doing.

BTW How many millions did that lying black female extortionist collect with her ambulance chaser NYC lawyer off NASCAR last month because she said she was happy and satisfied?

As far as Wendell Scott, he was fine and nobody hasseled him.
And nobody hasseled Charlie Pride either who made millions in country music.
The problem comes when you strut in and stuff this trash down peoples throats.
Those who act natural and human are treated as such.

lesismore34 said...

It hurts for you folks to think that I as a Black Man didn’t give my NASCAR career 110% in trying to race like my White counterparts and that I was looking more for an handout and not an opportunity, In the spirit of this country’s founding Fathers, I like those Pioneers of old, I weathered all the nay-sayers, back-biters, all the racist, and say I love this sport, I want to be a part of it, I can drive the hell out of a race car, I put my heart and soul in trying to find sponsors, talking to the powers that be in NASCAR, local track officials, your name it. I sacrificed so much to try and be a NASCAR Driver, but despite my love, my deserved, my ambitions, and determination, the color of my skin weighed more heavily against me than any other factor.

Years past, NASCAR has not been ready, they didn’t want to lose fans to “White Fright” if the pursued minorities form fans and Corporate American, so they did not participate actively in diversity. Today it’s a different story. For NASCAR to continue to compete for sports dollars against the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, IRL, NHRA, etc, etc, they must become like the American Community an employ, give business opportunities to, and promote not just the Whites who given their all for the sport, but also to Black, Latinos, and Women who want to equally comment to NASCAR.

But now time has changed, the economy is working against everyone, the rich and poor. Even strong efforts and individuals are feeling the cold winds of recession. Many in NASCAR don’t know if they will have a job or not. With many Corporate Budgets, NASCAR’s Lifeblood lowering, its impossible to know what turn the future of NASCAR will take or what the season holds.

But for us diehard NASCAR Lovers, we will be here waiting for the Green Flag to drop, waiting for those engines to fire, and for those four words that every race fans love to hear, ‘ GENTLEMAN START YOUR ENGINES”!!!

Anonymous said...

Ig blacks want to have a pity party, that's their right. The problem is that if they never look at themselves for their failures, they will never change and get better.

This bit about corporate America not supporting blacks in NASCAR. Maybe the reason is that so far they are all TERRIBLE!!

Corporate America wants to make a profit, no matter where they find it. They would love to be he first to sponsor a black driver, if he coud be found.

When Tiger Woods decided to go pro, the day after the line was from here to the moon of the corporate sponsor he coulc chose from. He has said that he is careful who he represents. Shall we count them? General Motors, Titlist, General Mills, American Express, Accenture, Nike, Gillette, Gatorade.

He does not do pharmacuticals or liquor--maybe becasue he is Buddhist.

Anonymous said...

Jimmie Johnson actually made more money in winnings than Tiger did in 2007. The difference in money was that crporate America is lin love with Tiger and he made in the neighborhood of $100 million and JJ made about $20 mil?

Anonymous said...

Who are the biggest beneficiaries of corporate America? Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, blavk rap artists, Beyonce, Will Smith, Oprah, etc.

If you look at the llst of cororations that sponsor these folks, it's the same list that sponsor NASCAR drivers. It's not race that matters to owners and sponsors, it's talent.

I would agree that southern fans might be another subject. I mean they hated and still hate Jeff Gordon. Not becasue of his race, but becasue he was not one of "theirs". But Jeff had no trouble finding a ride. Why? Because he had/has talent. Fron the time he was 3 years old. Kinda like Tiger, talent since he was 2.

Anonymous said...

lesismore34,

You probably know a lot of things, but you don't know much about the corporate world. In sports, you need talent and above that you need the "it" factor. You probably don't have it and no black driver has proven they have it either.

In the 80s when Michael Jordan was making millions and OJ Simpson was running thru airports, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, one of the best basketball players of all times, could get a sponsorship from the 99 cent store. He still can't. Talent was not enough.

In tennis, Pete Sampras never got the endorsements than Andre Agassi got (before Andree had ever won a major). You need talent plus "it."

Anonymous said...

Tim Tebow has "it."

Michael Vick had "it." Who made Michael the highest paid football player in the NFL? Arthur Blank. Who is Mr Blank? The co-founder of Home Depot. Corporate America.

Anonymous said...

lesismore34,

You are nuts if you think that Home Depot would give up the chance to sponsor a talented black driver. They did not sponsor Tony because he was white. To say that is an insult to Home Depot and Tony.

Anonymous said...

No doubt about the south being a whipping boy again. Indy racing has been around twice as long and never harrassed like this knowing it takes big money to race.

Get a sponsor like billionaire Oprah and a good team. Nothing is free. Whites are competing with whites and will do what it takes to win.

Pro sports is easy money compared to NASCAR. No draft system to equal things out. Dog eat dog. Feast or famine.

Ultimately females cant compete with males. Dont they separate genders in all other sports? Maybe an all female race league could be formed. Blacks also will never risk their lives at 200 mph. Drive for Diversity is bogus like that easy money discrimination lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

Every time a black or a minority person fails, just blame it on corporate America or white corporate America. Well, I got news for you. Corporate America is not very white. Considerin that blacks only make up 13% or so of the population, look at Harpo=Oprah, American Express=K Chenault (black), Time Warner=RD Pason (black), Aetna Ins= RA Williams (black).

You want us to believe that all these black Pres/CEOs, though black have a prejudice against black drivers? That's nuts.

Anonymous said...

Hey how about Campbell's Soup who spent millions for years with D McNabb and his mother.

Let's face it, lack of black drivers has to do with talent, not prejudice.

Anonymous said...

It's really stupid to say that corporate America has to help blacks. If you approach any of the Fortune 500 companies, they will show you a very long list of blacks they already support. I'm sure they don't appreciate being called racists by NASCAR wanna-bees.

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Anonymous said...

The reason organizations like the Drive for Diversity support minorities and females is because people don't give those drivers the attention they deserve.

I agree that you shouldn't give funding to a minority/female driver that is only a so-so racer, but it's a really good idea for the champions who don't get the time of day.

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