MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag from its races and properties.
NASCAR’s statement on Wednesday says, “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.”
Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s lone black driver, called this week for the banishment of the Confederate flag and said there was “no place” for them in the sport. Wallace asked the stock car series with deep ties to the South to formally distance itself from what for millions is a symbol of slavery and racism.
In addition, Wallace will race a car with a Black Lives Matter paint scheme at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. The car has the words “#blacklivesmatter” on the rear quarterpanels. Underneath each hashtag will be a large peace symbol with hands of people of different races.
The hood will feature a painting of a white and a black hand clasped with the saying,”Compassion, love, understanding.” The same words will be on the rear bumper.
Martinsville is one of the tracks where Confederate flags are often seen in the parking lots and campgrounds when there are fans.
For now, there are no fans allowed until the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on June 14.
Former chairman Brian France in 2015 tried to ban the flying of Confederate flags at race tracks, a proposal too broad to enforce and one that angered NASCAR’s core Southern-based fan base.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)