A 2016 lawsuit alleging that NASCAR racially discriminated against the efforts of Terrance Cox III to start a race team and other diversity-oriented efforts has been dropped, reports ESPN. Cox promoted himself as a diversity guru who wanted to increase black participation in NASCAR, but his relationship with the series soured to the point where Cox began organizing protests against it.
Cox and his Diversity Motorsports Racing, LLC, entity sued NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation and a host of teams for $500 million in 2016, only to drop his claims against the International Speedway Corporation when the lawsuit was refiled in December 2016, and drop the claims against the teams in February 2017. NASCAR was the only defendant left until Cox dropped the lawsuit entirely this month.
It was evident from the claims in Cox’s lawsuit as well as NASCAR’s count-by-count response that Cox tried to approach NASCAR’s top series with comparatively little experience working with top tier motorsports.
Cox’s Diversity Motorsports Racing entity briefly partnered with an ARCA team and successfully put the logo of one Cox-led outreach effort on at least one car in NASCAR’s second-tier Nationwide Series. However, Jalopnik’s investigation into those groups’ actual impact were inconclusive, with no results on nonprofit tracker GuideStar and no comment from Cox’s lawyer when we asked for clarification.
When NASCAR would not work with him as they had their own diversity and education efforts already in process, Cox became antagonistic, calling the series out on social media and in organized protests for what he claimed was racial bias against black people. As of January 31 of this year, the Cox-founded Minority Youth Matters Movement Facebook page was still advertising a protest for this year’s Daytona 500, among other things.
Cox dropped his lawsuit after NASCAR agreed not to pursue fees, expenses or sanctions against him, per court documents. NASCAR’s comment to ESPN described the lawsuit as a baseless play for attention:
From the very outset, Terrence Cox’s allegations were baseless publicity stunts without any merit or factual backing. We are not surprised that Mr. Cox has chosen to drop this matter and we remain committed to providing a working environment that promotes diversity, equality and respect for one another in everything we do.
The full dismissal can be read below.