POLITICS

NASCAR bans Confederate flag from its races

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“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 mentioned. “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.”

The transfer was introduced earlier than Wednesday evening’s race at Martinsville Speedway the place Wallace, an Alabama native, was driving a Chevrolet with a #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme. Wallace obtained a shoutout on Twitter from a number of athletes, together with NBA star LeBron James, for utilizing the paint scheme within the race.

The flag subject has been a thorny one for NASCAR. Former chairman Brian France in 2015 tried to ban the flying of Confederate flags at race tracks, angering many followers.

NASCAR didn’t handle how it could implement the coverage or point out any penalties for followers who violate it by bringing the Confederate flag to the observe. NASCAR has not raced with followers because the sport resumed final month amid the pandemic and was anticipated to have minimal followers allowed at races this month in Florida and Georgia.

Confederate flags nonetheless fly excessive atop infield RVs and are waved by followers within the grandstands at most tracks. NASCAR has been extra open in current instances to the eradication of the Confederate flag. Several drivers — together with two-time Daytona 500 champion Denny Hamlin — mentioned they supported Wallace in his quest to rid the game of the flag.

The predominantly white area of drivers united over the weekend for a video selling social change. A black NASCAR official, Kirk Price, took a knee earlier than Sunday’s race close to Atlanta in what might have been a primary for the collection. Wallace wore a black T-shirt with the phrases “I Can’t Breathe” on the race.

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