NASCAR is listening to one of its star drivers. Just two days after Bubba Wallace called for NASCAR to ban Confederate flags from its events, the organization announced that it will be doing just that moving forward.
The organization announced the news in a statement on Wednesday, June 10, saying the flag will be prohibited from all events and properties.
“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.”
Wallace, who drives the No. 43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports, is NASCAR’s only full-time black driver. The 26-year-old appeared on CNN while discussing his thoughts on the flag and while admitting he was not initially bothered by the Confederate flag, he does see why it has become an issue that needed to be addressed especially in today’s political climate.
“We are trying to figure out next steps. My next step would be to get rid of all Confederate flags,” Wallace said during the interview. “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. 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.
“I wasn’t bothered by it, but I don’t speak for everybody else. I speak for myself. What I’m chasing is checkered flags. That was kind of my narrative, but diving more into it and educating myself, people feel uncomfortable with that. People talk about that. That’s the first thing they bring up. There’s going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly, but it’s time for change. We have to change that.”
The Confederate flag ban comes hours before NASCAR’s Wednesday night race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. For the race, Bubba Wallace will be driving a car with the Black Lives Matter message and paint scheme in an effort to promote racial equality.