NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace signed a new endorsement deal from the unlikeliest of sources – Beats by Dre. The Apple subsidiary announced on Twitter along with a photo of Wallace in a Black Lives Matter shirt.
Beats said it was “proud” to welcome Wallace to its team, adding that “hate cannot win the day.”
Beats planned to make the announcement at the end of this week, but moved it up following a controversial tweet by Donald Trump.
Beats referenced this tweet saying, “No one should ever be asked to apologize for standing up for what’s right.”
The endorsement comes during a high-profile spat between Wallace and US President Donald Trump. Before Beat’s announcement, Trump asked Wallace if he had apologized for claiming he was the victim of a hate crime.
Wallace, NASCAR’s only black driver, found a noose in his garage stall at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway and believed it was placed there because he was a person of color. After apologies from NASCAR drivers and officials, an FBI investigation found that the noose was not a hate symbol targeted at Wallace, but instead had been used as a garage door opener for years.
Speaking to CNN, Wallace argued that the noose itself was offensive, and it didn’t matter that it wasn’t directed at him. Wallace also encouraged his followers on Twitter to respond to “hate being thrown at you with LOVE!” even when the hate is coming from the president.
Wallace isn’t the only high-profile athlete associated with the Beats by Dre brand. The company also sponsors activist and ex-football quarterback Colin Kaepernick, professional basketball player LeBron James, football wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and tennis star Serena Williams.