— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 10, 2020
NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag.
I believed I would never see the day.
It is a historic day for NASCAR racing. A defining moment.
Days after Bubba Wallace, the only black driver in NASCAR’s three national series, called for the sanctioning body to ban all Confederate flags at racetracks, the organization answered the bell.
The move comes amid social unrest around the globe following the death in police custody of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, on May 25 in Minneapolis. Protests have swept the world since Floyd’s death, and Confederate monuments are being taken down across the South, the traditional home of NASCAR’s fan base.
Floyd furthermore Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Philando Castile, names that will live on. Victims of police brutality.
The topic of the flag being a part of United States history is constantly raised in support of it. But the flag is a divisive and polarizing symbol in the country. It is associated with racism and white supremacy.
“Props to NASCAR and everybody involved,” Wallace told Fox Sports 1.
New fans replacing closed-minded ones will come to check out the sport. NASCAR will be in a better place in the next decade.
“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,” NASCAR said in a statement. “The display of the Confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.”
NASCAR is finalizing the protocol to enforce the new policy.
Plans are set to allow fans back at the track for races this month at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.
NASCAR will allow up to 1,000 Florida service members, representing the Homestead Air Reserve Base and U.S. Southern Command in Doral, to attend the Cup Series race Sunday as honorary guests and view the race from the grandstands.
“[NASCAR president Steve] Phelps and I have been in contact a lot, just trying to figure out what steps are next, and that was a huge, pivotal moment,” Wallace said. “A lot of backlash for the sport, but it creates doors and allows the community to come together as one. And that’s what the real mission is here.”
Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama will allow up to 5,000 guests in the frontstretch grandstands/towers for the June 21 Cup race. There will be limited motorhome/camping spots available outside the track.
Alabama will be a real visual voice to see if fans will rebel against the banning of the flag.
NASCAR says all fans will be screened before entering, required to wear face coverings, mandated to social distance at six feet, and will not have access to the infield, among other revised operational protocols.
“You get a lot of positive outreach, a lot of positive impact, gaining new fans as we go,” Wallace added. “You get the fans that will never watch a NASCAR race again, the same fans that will never watch NASCAR after the kneeling, the same fans that are crying out that we are ruining their lives.”
NASCAR has returned to racing but had not allowed fans inside the tracks in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Fans are who is missed in all of the sports across the globe as answers to stopping the spread of Covid-19 remains uncertain, that flag is gone, it will not be missed.