NASCAR Heeds Bubba Wallace and Bans Confederate Flag at Races and Venues

The organization also removed guidelines that mandated team members must stand for the national anthem

Confederate flags flying at a NASCAR stock car race
American and Confederate flags fly during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2015.
Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
By Evan Bleier / June 11, 2020 11:09 am

Days after Black driver Bubba Wallace appeared on CNN and made a public appeal for a ban on the Confederate flags at races, NASCAR announced the symbol of hate and separatism will no longer be welcome at the stock car series.

“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,” the racing series said in a statement. “Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community it creates is what makes fans and sport special. The display of the Confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.”

After the ban was announced, Wallace and his competition took to the track on Wednesday at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. During the race, Wallace drove his No. 43 Chevrolet with a #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme.

“It’s been a stressful couple of weeks,” Wallace said prior to finishing 11th in the race. “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.”

Following organization official Kirk Price taking a knee and raising a fist before last weekend’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR also removed guidelines that mandated team members must stand for the national anthem, opening the way for peaceful protests during pre-race ceremonies.

We’ll have to see how long these changes remain in place before people, or one person in particular, take issue with them.

“I am 100 percent confident that a real NASCAR fan has the ability to enjoy a weekend in the infield just as much while flying an American flag as they do under the flag of a misguided, defeated nation that hasn’t existed for 155 years,” wrote ESPN’s Ryan McGee. “If they can’t, then they’ve never loved NASCAR as much they have always claimed. They certainly have never loved it as much as I do.”

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