NASCAR today banned the presence of Confederate flags at its events and on its properties, stating that the flag “runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry.”
The statement continued, “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.” See the tweet below.
The issue most recently was raised Monday by Bubba Wallace, the circuit’s sole full-time black driver, who told CNN’s Don Lemon that the the flags should “have no place” in the sport. “Get them out of here,” he said.
Wallace plans to drive a Chevrolet painted with a Black Lives Matter logo at Wednesday night’s NASCAR race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. FS1 will air the race.
In 2013, Fox signed a $3.8 billion deal for NASCAR rights through 2024.
Like every major sport, NASCAR has had to contend with protests roiling the country in the wake of the police-caused death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. Last week, it issued a statement and Wallace and several fellow drivers echoed its theme in a video that has made the social media rounds in the past few days. Watch it below too.
The flag ban followed NASCAR’s announcement on Tuesday of safety guidelines for its first races to allow spectators since the COVID-19 pandemic forced a suspension of racing and sports across most of the world in March. In recent weeks, six NASCAR races have been held without fans.
Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400 in Florida and the following Sunday’s Geico 500 in Alabama each will have limited spectators in attendance. About 1,000 service members will watch Sunday’s race, with 5,000 fans at the June 21 event. The crowds will be a fraction of what NASCAR can typically handle; its largest track can seat 80,000.
Here’s today’s official NASCAR tweet, followed by the video featuring Wallace and other drivers:
Here is NASCAR’s tweet from June 1 reacting to the George Floyd protests:
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