NASCAR announced Wednesday that it would ban the display of the Confederate flag at all its events and properties — a day after Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s first full-time Black driver, called for the American racing body to prohibit the controversial symbol.
“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 said in a statement.
There have been no fans at NASCAR events for several weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the racing company said Tuesday that it plans to allow a limited number of fans at select races starting on June 14.
As anti-racism protests have roiled swaths of the country following the death of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer, demonstrators have taken aim at the Confederate flag and monuments, as well as other symbols connected to America’s history of racism.
Wallace, who has expressed solidarity with the protesters, said Tuesday that there’s “no place” for such symbols at NASCAR events.
“No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. So it starts with Confederate flags,” Wallace, who unveiled a special Black Lives Matter paint scheme on his car this week, told CNN. “Get them out of here. They have no place for them.”
NASCAR has previously asked its fans to stop bringing the Confederate flag to races ― but the symbol has remained a common sight at NASCAR events.