Amid mass protests around the world against police brutality and racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death, a black man who died in police custody, NASCAR has finally conceded that the Civil War ended more than 150 years ago and banned confederate flags at NASCAR events.
The ban comes days after NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, the only African American in NASCAR’s top circuit, called for a ban on the flag.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 10, 2020
“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 organization wrote in a statement.
“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.”
Many online praised the decision, declaring it long overdue.
“NASCAR is not closing a door on you. NASCAR is opening the door to everyone.”
— Golic and Wingo (@GolicAndWingo) June 11, 2020
there’s a NASCAR loving Steve King voter going thru it right now
— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) June 11, 2020
In less than a week NASCAR sent a significant message denouncing racial injustice, allowed for peaceful protest during the national anthem, embraced an inclusiveness initiative with the LGBTQ community and banned the Confederate Flag – the sport deserves well-earned admiration
— Pete Pistone (@PPistone) June 10, 2020
How we pulling up to NASCAR races pic.twitter.com/LpJnwYz2aR
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) June 11, 2020
Others joked about using the confederate flag as a source of pride, which ignores the confederacy’s loss in the Civil War.
If you’re upset about NASCAR banning Confederate flags, wait until you find out how the Civil War ended.
— JRehling (@JRehling) June 11, 2020
To be clear, while NASCAR is banning the Confederate battle flag they’ll still use the final Confederate flag to show there’s one lap to go pic.twitter.com/8QBWAs0bmA
— Maynard G. Muskievote (@BobbyBigWheel) June 11, 2020
Good. Pretty sure they don’t allow Nazi flags at German sporting events. We shouldn’t allow Confederate flags at US sporting events.
— Ethan Ambrose (@ethanambrose) June 10, 2020
Some NASCAR drivers overwhelmingly support the protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. Earlier this week, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace called for the banning of the flag and unveiled a Black Lives Matter-themed car.
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 9, 2020
But not every NASCAR fan was a fan of the change, with some vowing to bring the flag to events.
Good luck with that, I’ll be bringing mine to every race #NASCAR
— Tennessee Patriot (@realDP713) June 10, 2020
Ray Ciccarelli, a NASCAR driver from the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series., responded by leaving the circuit, calling the ban “political BS!!” He wrote on Facebook:
Well its been a fun ride and dream come true but if this is the direction Nascar is headed we will not participate after 2020 season is over , i don’t believe in kneeling during Anthem nor taken ppl right to fly what ever 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—ing one group to cater to another and i ain’t spend the money we are to participate in any political BS!! So everything is for SALE!!
In his three years on the circuit, Ciccarelli has never won any of his 18 races.
The Bad Place’s Colin Kaepernick lol pic.twitter.com/JGoxOC4Cqh
— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) June 11, 2020