NASCAR company bans the confederate flags from its events in wake of George Floyd’s death protests! Bubba Wallace claps his hands!
The confederate flags denoting Southern supremacy formed a familiar sight during NASCAR races for the past more than 7 decades. They were at the infield campsites and in the hands of the fans right from the civil rights movement to last February during the season opener at Daytona. But now NASCAR has decided to ban these confederate flags in the wake of the protests after a white officer killed a black man, George Floyd. Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s lone black driver from Alabama was a pioneer in this move of the company.
Bubba Wallace and his statement
The Alabama native and NASCAR’s only black driver Bubba Wallace has called for the banishment of the confederate flags in the site. He said that these flags have no place in sports and in this era. Bubba wore a black T-shirt on which was written ‘I Can’t Breathe’. He also donned an American flag mask and was at the wheels of Richard Petty Motorsports’ No. 43 Chevrolet with a #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme.
“It’s been a stressful couple of weeks. This is no doubt the biggest race of my career tonight. I’m excited about tonight. There’s a lot of emotions on the race track.”
What NASCAR said and did?
NASCAR company banned the flags at the start of the Wednesday night’s race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. Bubba clapped his hands at the announcement. NASCAR stated:
“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.”
NASCAR knows that it would be a task and need added security to control the often rowdy and booze-filled fans who may react negatively to the ban. Due to the corona pandemic, there are no fans allowed at the race currently. But NASCAR plans to allow a small crowd at Miami and later in Alabama by the month-end.
The reaction of the fans and loyalists of the sports
While the colleagues and other car racers are in full support of Bubba, many loyalists of the game have already started howling online. Many have even sworn to stop watching the game or following it. Truck Series driver Ray Ciccarelli posted on his Facebook page:
“I could care less about the Confederate Flag but there are ppl that do and it doesn’t make them a racist.”
NASCAR helmet artist Jason Beam posted on his Twitter handle:
“ignorance wins again, NASCAR you realize the North had slaves too, lol not just the South, you want to remove the American Flag as well, idiots.”
Bubba had said that instead, the fans can get the American flags and wave them. Some laughed at NASCAR’s decision. The issue was raised even five years back and Brian France, the then NASCAR chairman had said that they are working out to see how they can dissociate the flags from the events. NASCAR had fired car driver Kyle Larson in April 2020 for his racist slur.
But most of the people are happy with this decision of NASCAR for a social change and are supporting it.