NASCAR bans display of Confederate flag from events and properties

NASCAR said Wednesday it is banning displays of the Confederate flag at all of its events and properties, saying the symbol goes against the company’s commitment to providing an inclusive environment for fans.

“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. 

A push to remove Confederate imagery and statues has been reignited amid protests over police brutality and racial inequality sparked by the killing of George Floyd last month. 

Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, the first black full-time driver on NASCAR’s top circuit in more than 45 years, had called for the company to ban Confederate flags from racetracks. Wallace and NASCAR announced earlier in the day that he would be driving a car painted to honor the Black Lives Matter movement at Wednesday’s race.

The Confederate flag ban got a mixed response from NASCAR fans on Twitter, with some applauding it, others announcing they would no longer attend races and some, including Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), indicating the move should have been made long ago. 

On the same day as NASCAR’s decision, President Trump said he “will not even consider” renaming Army bases that were named for Confederate military leaders after top Pentagon officials indicated recently they are open to the idea. 

Trump argued, in a series of tweets, that the bases have become a part of U.S. history and should not be “tampered with.” 

Meanwhile, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) on Wednesday reiterated her call for nearly a dozen Confederate statues to be removed from the halls of Congress. 

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said last week that a monument of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that is six stories tall will be removed from Richmond’s Monument Avenue. A Virginia judge temporarily blocked Northam’s order to remove the statue. 

Earlier this week in Louisville, Ky., a monument depicting Confederate officer John Breckinridge Castleman was removed

Nationwide protests broke out after Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day. 

Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. Chauvin was fired and charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers were also fired and have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Updated at 6:10 p.m.

Tags Confederate flag Confederate flag removal Confederate statues Donald Trump Eric Swalwell Nancy Pelosi NASCAR

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