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Steve Harvey Denies Any Connection to $500M Lawsuit Alleging NASCAR Shuts out Black Owners and Drivers


Steve Harvey (left) and Diversity Motorsports CEO Terrance Cox (right)

(Updated) A top executive at North Carolina-based racing company Diversity Motorsports is suing racecar giant NASCAR after the organization refused to approve a new racing team reportedly put together by him and comedian Steve Harvey.

Terrance Cox, CEO of Diversity Motorsports, is gunning for the auto racing corporation and all of its racing teams in a new $500 million lawsuit alleging racial discrimination.

Harvey, however, is denying any links to Cox’s supposed “racing team” and subsequent lawsuit.

TMZ Sports initially reported that Harvey and Cox were reportedly in talks to join forces to create a racing team called “Steve Harvey Races 4 Education.” The duo’s plans stalled, however, when NASCAR informed the comedian it would never “OK” a racing team with Diversity Motorsports. That led Cox to file the suit on Friday.

The CEO’s lawsuit alleges that Diversity Motorsports — a company established “to market and promote African-American racecar drivers and African-American racing teams” — has intentionally been shut out and ostracized by NASCAR and other big-name racing companies.

“[NASCAR] has intentionally interfered with the efforts of Cox and Diversity Motorsports to integrate the U.S. motorsports industry by perpetuating, condoning and actively participating in actions designed to humiliate, degrade, ostracize and exclude Cox,” the lawsuit states.

Cox also made sure to point out the poor representation of Black racecar drivers among NASCAR’s ranks. In the lawsuit, he noted that only one driver in both the top tier, Sprint Cup, and the second tier, Xfinity Series, is African-American, reports.

Almost none of the charter teams listed on the racing giant’s website are Black-owned — except for one. JTG Daugherty, a team partially owned (10 percent) by former NBA player Brad Daugherty, is one of several NASCAR entities being sued by Cox, according to TMZ Sports.

A spokesperson for NASCAR has since denounced the suit’s accusations, asserting that the organization “embraces all individuals interested and involved in our sport.”

“Diversity both on and off the track continues to be a top priority for NASCAR and its stakeholders,” the spokesperson told TMZ Sports. “We stand behind our actions, and will not let a publicity-seeking legal action deter us from our mission.”

Cox’s lawsuit seeks $75 million in compensatory damages and an additional $425 million in punitive damages. NASCAR plans to sue the Diversity Motorsports CEO for defamation.

Earlier today, Harvey offered his own comments on the matter and revealed that he never had any desire to start a NASCAR racing team. He called Cox’s claims and subsequent lawsuit a total lie.

“I don’t want no damn race team,” Harvey said on his morning radio show. “I wish [Cox] had some money so I could sue him but he ain’t got none.”

The comedian explained that his relationship with Cox started as a joint venture to help underprivileged youth; but things went south and Harvey ultimately walked away.

*Editor’s Correction: The original article incorrectly stated Steve Harvey intended to start a racing team with Terrence Cox.

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