“Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community is what makes our fans and sport special,” NASCAR said in a statement.
By Aaron Sull, World Israel News
Amid calls for social justice and racial equality following the death of George Floyd, NASCAR announced on Wednesday that the display of Confederate flags will be banned from all of its racing events.
“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,” NASCAR said in a statement.
“Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties,” the statement said.
The decision to ban the Confederate flag, commonly associated with racism and white supremacy, is credited to the efforts of Bubba Wallace, the only African American driver in the sport.
Prior to Wednesday’s NASCAR’s Martinsville race, Wallace donned a black T-shirt with the words “I Can’t Breathe.” He stood by his Chevy Camaro painted with the words “#BlackLivesMatter” over the rear wheel and the phrase “Compassion, Love, Understanding ” written on the hood and back bumper.
“I think by running this branding on our car, putting the hashtag out there, bringing more awareness to it, it lines up with the videos that we had put out as NASCAR,” Wallace said in a statement.
“Listening and learning. Educating ourselves. So people will look up what this hashtag means. And hopefully, get a better understanding,” he said.
In 2015, calls to ban the Confederate flag rose after nine black churchgoers were murdered in Charleston, South Carolina by a white supremacist. The only action taken by the motorsport company was a request that fans not bring them.