NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag following the recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests across the country after decades of efforts and weak concessions. Let the flag-shredding burnouts commence.
Here’s NASCAR’s statement on the ban:
It finally happened, thanks to recent movements both within the NASCAR community, and a broader global community of peaceful activists marching in protest of police brutality and institutional racism.
Outcries from some of NASCAR’s top racing drivers from across its national series joined driver Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in the Cup series, in demanding a full ban of the Confederate flag’s display at racing venues.
Wallace’s actions are believed to have directly led to NASCAR’s consideration of the ban, following three weeks of activism and protests following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, who were later charged after public outcry.
Just before the latest social movement kicked up, NASCAR went through its own crisis with Kyle Larson, a 27 year-old half-Japanese driver, who uttered the N-word during a Twitch livestream. Larson was ultimately dropped by his team and all of his major sponsors, with no return until he completed sensitivity training. He has since already raced again in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series this year.
This final ban on the dumb, ugly flag is long overdue considering the Confederacy suffered a humiliating and inevitable defeat to the Union in 1865, leading to the abolition of slavery across the United States and its territories. Back in 2015, an embarrassing 150 years later, NASCAR made a weak attempt at limiting the flag’s presence at its races, coming short of an appropriate and firm outright ban by simply “requesting” fans leave their alarming racism at home.
As progressive as the move is for the racing series, it’s frustrating to see just how hard even the most basic, opaque symbols of racism and hatred takes years of outcry over pointless concessions when the result is always the same: progress is inevitable!
Now let’s see teams put the same money and resources into BIPOC who deserve a shot at a seat, and yeah that needs to include women, too.