NFL great Emmitt Smith has reportedly become the owner of a new NASCAR team.
A report by NBC Sports suggests that he will join forces with NASCAR driver Jesse Iwuji to form a lower-level Xfinity Series team.
Iwuji, 34, hopes to obtain a license in order to be eligible to drive for the brand new team next year.
Iwuji and Bubba Wallace are the only two black drivers who drive regularly on the NASCAR circuit.
This new alliance endeavours to diversify the NASCAR, a white-dominated industry.
The team will be named Jesse Iwuji Motorsports which will aim to not only fulfil his dreams and aspirations, but also create a path that others can follow.
Smith told NBC Sports: “Now that the opportunity has presented itself, whether NASCAR or the NFL or any other sport or Corporate America, the opportunity to engage with minority entities and minority companies is vast.
“And all people are asking for is an opportunity to even prove themselves. That’s all Jesse is asking for is an opportunity to prove himself and prove he belongs at this level."
He added: “So this is another way to continue to expand and penetrate communities through an individual like Jesse and the team we’ve assembled together to really spread awareness and create hope for others.”
NASCAR is making steps to make the sport more inclusive, such as banning the confederate flag and putting an emphasis on gender and racial equality.
Smith added: “It’s funny that it takes something as catastrophic as things we’ve experienced the last couple of years to really wake people up and really have people to analyze the positions they’re in and what they have the capabilities of truly doing in terms of creating opportunities for others.
“Unfortunately, it has taken some unfortunate deaths to even bring that to the surface. And when people have been screaming all along that these are barriers and challenges that we all face.
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“So now that the opportunity has presented itself, whether NASCAR or the NFL or any other sport or Corporate America, the opportunity to engage with minority entities and minority companies is vast.”
Smith, 52, played for the Dallas Cowboys for 12 years and rushed for more than 18,000 yards during his NFL career.
He’s a three time Super Bowl champion and has held the league’s all-time rushing yards record since 2002.
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