NASCAR joins race to disavow Confederate flag

NASCAR joins race to disavow Confederate flag
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NASCAR is joining the race to disavow the Confederate flag after a racially charged shooting in South Carolina has renewed debate about its placement in state capitols in the South. 

The company said Tuesday that it agrees with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's (R) call for removing the flag after nine African-Americans were killed in a shooting at a church in Charleston. 

"NASCAR supports the position that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley took on the Confederate Flag on Monday," the company said in a statement. 

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"As our industry works collectively to ensure that all fans are welcome at our races, NASCAR will continue our long-standing policy to disallow the use of the Confederate Flag symbol in any official NASCAR capacity," the statement continued. "While NASCAR recognizes that freedom of expression is an inherent right of all citizens, we will continue to strive for an inclusive environment at our events."

The placement of the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Capitol and on other capitol grounds in Southern states has become a dominate topic in Washington after pictures were released of the Charleston shooter, Dylann Roof, displaying the flag prior to the shooting. 

Roof has allegedly told police that he was targeting African-American for his shooting spree. 

NASCAR, which is popular in the South, offered its sympathy to the victims of the shooting as it sought to distance itself from images of Confederate flag among its fans.  

"As we continue to mourn the tragic loss of life last week in Charleston, we join our nation's embrace of those impacted," the company said.