Nascar has banned the display of the Confederate flag at its racing events and properties, as it takes a stand towards the call for equality, end racism and police brutality.
Nascar in a statement on Wednesday 10th June 2020, said the presence of the flag “runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment” for fans and competitors.
Nascar only black full-time driver, Bubba Wallace, had called for the confederate flag to be banned from racetracks, where it had become a common sight.
“Get them out of here. They have no place for them, ” he told CNN.
The Confederate flag has been a common sight at Nascar circuits, particularly in the sport’s southern US heartland, but for many remains a symbol of slavery and racism.
“No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a Nascar race. It starts with Confederate flags,” said 26-year-old Wallace.
Wallace, who in 2013, became the first black driver to win a Nascar event since Wendell Scott in 1963, has been vocal in support of protests following the death of George Floyd.
Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes on 25 May.
The Confederate flags had once been embraced by Nascar, with the series staging the now renamed “Rebel 400” every year near Confederate Memorial Day, when the dead from the defeated Confederate army in the US Civil War are remembered.
However, the flag’s association with white supremacists prompted Nascar chiefs to describe the flag as an “offensive and divisive” symbol following the murder of nine black Americans inside a Charleston, South Carolina church in 2015.
But back then Nascar stopped short of banning the flag’s display altogether, however, instead of setting up an exchange program where race-goers could exchange their Confederate flags for American ones.
In a statement on Wednesday, Nascar said: “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.”