NASCAR banned the Confederate Flag from all of its events and properties after an appeal from its only full-time black driver.
“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 company said in a statement on Wednesday. “Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.”
It is unclear how NASCAR will enforce the ban.
Black driver called for removal:
Bubba Wallace, the only full-time black driver on the circuit, called for the Confederate Flag to be removed during an interview with CNN on Monday.
“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,” he said.
“There’s going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly but it’s time for change,” he added. “We have to change that, and I encourage NASCAR to have those conversations to remove those flags.”
Driver quits in response:
Ray Ciccarelli, a 50-year-old driver who has finished in the top 10 (ninth) just once in his entire career on the NASCAR Truck Series, announced he would quit in response to the ban.
“Well its been a fun ride and dream come true but if this is the direction Nascar is headed we will not participate after the 2020 season is over,” he said on Facebook. “I don’t believe in kneeling during Anthem nor taken ppl right to fly whatever flag they love.”
“I could care less about the Confederate Flag but there are ppl that do and it doesn’t make them a racist all you are doing is f–king one group to cater to another,” he added.
“Funniest thing about Ray Ciccarelli is that whether you agree with him or disagree you still had to google him to find out who he is cuz he ain’t never won,” tweeted journalist Aaron West.