NASCAR Finally Bans Confederate Flag, Proves South Will Not Rise Again
Losers' flag 'prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties'
NASCAR on Wednesday lost its longtime battle against common sense and the march of time, announcing that it will finally ban the Confederate flag from events and racetracks moving forward. The move comes days after Bubba Wallace — the only black driver in the NASCAR Cup Series — advocated for the removal of the flag.
NASCAR’s statement reads
“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.”
Wallace: ‘No place’ for Confederate flag at NASCAR events
In an interview on CNN this week, Wallace suggested that removing the Confederate flag from NASCAR events would foster a more inclusive and less hostile environment for all fans.
“There should be no individual that is uncomfortable showing up to our events to have a good time with their family that feels some type of way about something they have seen, an object they have seen flying. No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race,” Wallace told CNN’s Don Lemon. “So it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them.”
Prior to Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Wallace wore a t-shirt bearing the words “I Can’t Breathe.” These were among the last words of George Floyd, the man murdered by Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25. Video of the incident showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds sparked outrage worldwide, leading to ongoing protests and calls for justice.
NASCAR official Kirk Price took a knee prior to Sunday’s race, echoing a form of peaceful protest popularized by Colin Kaepernick in 2016.
Wallace is taking part in the NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway on Wednesday evening, and his No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro will feature a special #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme.
“This statement that we have right here. … Running this race car. Being on live television. I think it’s going to speak volumes for what I stand for, but also what the initiative that NASCAR, the whole sport, is trying to push,” Wallace said.
NASCAR finally takes decisive action on flag of losers
NASCAR had previously toyed with the idea of disassociating itself from the Confederate flag, a symbol propagated and held up by racists due to its inherent association with the defense of slavery. In 2015, after white supremacist Dylann Roof murdered nine people in a Charleston church and was treated to some Burger King by police after the fact, then-CEO Brian France referred to the flag as an “offensive and divisive symbol.” This led to NASCAR creating an exchange program where fans could trade in their Confederate flags for American flags. The initiative did not go over with the fan base, to the surprise of no one.
Speaking of surprising no one, NPR reports that the decision to finally ban the flag flown by defectors who lost a war fought in order to protect the enterprise of slavery is already drawing backlash from fans. NPR also reports that fans are angry over Wallace’s Black Lives Matter livery. If one were to draw a Venn diagram of people angry about the removal of a flag classified by the Anti-Defamation League as a hate symbol and people angry about a black driver signal-boosting an important and necessary movement at a critical moment in history, it would almost certainly be a circle not unlike the open mouth of a can of skunk-warm Busch Light.
The Confederates lost the Civil War in 1865. Now, in 2020, the Confederacy takes an L yet again. You love to see it. Eat it up, losers.