NASCAR banning Confederate flag at all events, properties

Racing

FILE – In this Feb. 15, 2008, file photo, flags, including a Confederate flag, fap in the wind during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. NASCAR is backing South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s call to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Statehouse grounds in the wake of a massacre at a Charleston church, it said in a statement Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Though NASCAR bars the use of the flag in any official capacity, many fans fly the flag at their races. (AP Photo/Darryl Graham, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — NASCAR is banning the display of the Confederate flag at all events and properties, the organization announced Wednesday.

“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 organization said 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.”

According to the statement, the display of the Confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.

The statement comes one day after Bubba Wallace, the only black driver in the sport, called for the flag to be banned.

“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,” Wallace told CNN. “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.”

Wallace wore a black T-shirt with the words “I Can’t Breathe” on it to a race on Sunday in Atlanta. Earlier Wednesday, he unveiled his new “Black Lives Matter” car that he will be racing in Virginia.

NASCAR over the weekend vowed to do a better job of addressing racial injustice.

“Our country is in pain and people are justifiably angry, demanding to be heard. The black community and all people of color have suffered in our country, and it has taken far too long for us to hear their demands for change,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said. “Our sport must do better. Our country must do better.”

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