The Confederate flag will now be a relic of NASCAR’s good ol’ boy roots. NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag from all events and properties.
On Wednesday, NASCAR said the flag would be prohibited from all NASCAR events and venues.
NASCAR says the Confederate flag “runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry.”
Former chairman Brian France in 2015 tried to ban the flying of Confederate flags at race tracks, a proposal too broad to enforce and one that angered NASCAR’s core Southern-based fan base.
Bubba Wallace is the lone black driver in the sport and has emerged as NASCAR’s outspoken leader in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
He had called for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag.
“My next step would be to get rid of all Confederate flags," Wallace said. “No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. So it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them.”
It’s part of a growing movement inside the sport to promote racial diversity. Wallace says there’s no place for the flag.
Channel 9 spoke with officials at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Thursday morning, who said they support NASCAR’s decision.
“The slogan of the speedway was founded upon in 1960 was: Charlotte Motor Speedway ... It’s for everyone. We will always strive to make our facility welcome to all fans,” a spokesperson for the speedway said.
George Peakes has followed the debate and told Channel 9 that the flag is deeply intertwined with the sport’s history.
“I thought it was great leadership from NASCAR,” he said. “The First Amendment doesn’t give you the right to do whatever you want at a sporting venue, that’s not how this works. The number of people they’ll lose to a boycott is trivial compared to the benefits of spreading a more inclusive message.”
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