The ban comes days after NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace called for the removal of the battle flag at race tracks

By Gabrielle Chung
June 10, 2020 06:20 PM
Advertisement

NASCAR has taken a stance against flying the Confederate flag.

The stock-car racing organization announced on Wednesday that it has banned the display of the Confederate flag at all of its events and properties, saying in a statement: "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 statement continued. "The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties."

NASCAR race
Chris McGrath/Getty

NASCAR previously disallowed the use of the battle flag in "any official" capacity but fans were not prohibited from displaying the symbol at their events, according to CBS Sports.

The change in guidelines comes days after NASCAR racer Bubba Wallace, who is currently the only black driver in the Cup Series, pushed for the removal of the Confederate flags at race tracks.

"No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race," Wallace, 26, told CNN on Monday. "So it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them."

The flag — which was used by the Confederate States of America before its downfall in 1865 — has "served as a potent symbol of slavery and white supremacy, which has caused it to be very popular among white supremacists," according to the Anti-Defamation League.

"There's going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly but it's time for change," Wallace said in his interview with CNN. "We have to change that, and I encourage NASCAR to have those conversations to remove those flags."

"We should not be able to have an argument over that," he added. "It is a thick line we cannot cross anymore."

Bubba Wallace
Chris Graythen/Getty

On Sunday, NASCAR president Steve Phelps vowed to better address racial injustices during a speech at the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 in Atlanta.

"Our country is in pain, and people are justifiably angry, demanding to be heard," Phelps said, according to ESPN. "The black community and all people of color have suffered in our country, and it has taken far too long for us to hear their demands for change. Our sport must do better. Our country must do better."

"The time is now to listen, to understand and to stand against racism and racial injustice," Phelps continued. "We ask our drivers ... and all our fans to join us in this mission, to take a moment of reflection, to acknowledge that we must do better as a sport, and join us as we now pause and take a moment to listen."

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.

ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.

• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.