The powers that be at NASCAR just announced that they are banning the flying of the Confederate flag at all events and properties. The flag has come to symbolize a time of oppression, racism and enslavement of black Americans.
The decision comes as many sports leagues, corporations, TV networks and others make concerted efforts to break down barriers to equality amid uprisings, demonstrations and protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.
Before Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR aired a statement of support for equality that had been pre-recorded by the drivers. Bubba Wallace, the only full-time black driver in NASCAR, called for an end to flying the flag at events.
Wallace, a 26 year old Alabama native said:
There’s going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly, but it’s time for change,” he said. “We have to change that, and I encourage NASCAR — we will have those conversations to remove those flags.
NASCAR officials made a statement from their headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida. It read:
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. 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.
Drivers race under the lights in Martinsville, Virginia tonight. Wallace will be driving a car with a Black Lives Matter paint scheme in support of racial equality.