June 19, 2024 marked the fourth year that “Juneteenth” was recognized as a federal holiday, and while the the occasion is one to celebrate, it’s also one to reflect on. That was the message NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace presented on his social media accounts on Wednesday.

“Been thinking a lot about the role today plays in this sport and the responsibility I have with my platform,” Wallace wrote on Twitter. “Juneteenth celebrates the freedom of enslaved African Americans in the US.

“Seeing faces at the racetrack from ALL backgrounds is something I’m proud to play a small role in. As we celebrate today I invite you to step out of your comfort zone, challenge your perspective, and move forward with compassion and understanding. All love.”

Bubba Wallace, who is only the second African American driver in NASCAR history and the only current African American driver on the circuit, has played a vital role in pushing for equality and inclusivity in the sport.

He famously pushed for a ban of Confederate flags at all NASCAR events, something he championed as a move for inclusivity. Among other things, Wallace said he believed the move to ban the flag would create a more inclusive environment and help expand viewership.

That came on the heels of a racially tense summer in 2020, when the Black Lives Matter movement took center stage in America during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race,” Bubba Wallace said at the time. “So it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them.

“There’s going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly, but it’s time for change. We have to change that, and I encourage NASCAR — we will have those conversations to remove those flags.”

He’s long been a vocal advocate for the Black community.

Needless to say Juneteenth, which celebrates the enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas, is a special day for Bubba Wallace. And his words give us all something to reflect on and ponder.