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NASCAR Bans Confederate Flags at All of Its Auto Races

The start of the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Toyota 200 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.
Jared C. Tilton, Getty Images

NASCAR has banned the flying of the Confederate battle flag at all of its races going forward. The stock-car racing giant’s decision arrived Wednesday (June 10) as racial tension in the United States remained high following last month’s killing of George Floyd in police custody.

Earlier this week, racing icon Bubba Wallace had called for an end to the sport’s association with the flag. Now, NASCAR has taken the directive to heart — a message on the company’s site outlines the change.

“The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors, and our industry,” the statement says.

“Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special,” it continues. “The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.”

In a recent interview, Wallace tells CNN’s Don Lemon, “No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. It starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them.”

Wallace is widely recognized as one of the most successful Black drivers in NASCAR history. He’s also the first full-time black driver in the Cup Series since 1971. Wallace adds that there’s “going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly, but it’s time for change.”

NASCAR first asked race fans to stop bringing Confederate flags in 2015, as The New York Times reported. However, some ignored the suggestion. It wasn’t clear on Wednesday how far NASCAR’s ban would extend; it’s also unclear if it forbids Confederate imagery on non-flag items.

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