NASCAR Bans Confederate Flag From All Events

NASCAR announced on Wednesday that the Confederate flag would no longer be allowed at events, only days after NASCAR driver Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, who is African American, said that the organization had “reached out” and had been “stepping up to the plate and delivering in a huge way.”

“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,” said the organization in a statement.

“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,” said the statement.

During an interview with CNN anchor Don Lemon, Wallace, who is African American, said that the Confederate flag didn’t bother him in the past because he was focused on chasing “checkered flags.”

But now, Wallace says he sees things differently: “Diving more into it and educating myself, people feel uncomfortable with that, people talk about that — that’s the first thing they bring up.”

“My next step would be to get rid of all Confederate flags,” said Wallace, who mentioned that NASCAR was focusing on its next steps. “No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. So it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them.”

NASCAR President Steve Phelps held a moment of silence ahead of a race earlier this month, saying that “our sport” and “our country must do better,” and that now is the time “to listen, to understand, and to stand against racism and racial injustice.”

Earlier this week, military officials signaled that they were open to bipartisan discussions focused on renaming military bases after confederate leaders, according to ABC News. However, President Donald Trump indicated on Wednesday morning that he isn’t willing to consider renaming bases.

“These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom,” said Trump. “The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars.”

“Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations. Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military,” he said.

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