NASCAR on Wednesday announced that it will no longer allow the Confederate flag to be displayed at future events. The move comes as countrywide protests over the death of George Floyd have brought renewed support for demands to remove Confederate symbols throughout the U.S.
“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 stock car racing company 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. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.”
The Confederate flag has long been a familiar sight at NASCAR races, as fans would affix them to their vehicles in the parking lot and bring them onto the tracks’ infields. Bubba Wallace, NACAR’s only black full-time driver, recently 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 on Monday. “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.”
One day earlier, Wallace arrived at a race near Atlanta wearing a T-shirt with the words “I Can’t Breathe” and “Black Lives Matter.” Wallace’s car for Wednesday’s race had the hashtag “#BLACKLIVESMATTER” written on it, along with the words “compassion, love, understanding.”
Both the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy have recently banned the display of the Confederate flag at their facilities as well. Calls to rename U.S. military installations named for Confederate generals have grown louder in recent weeks as well. President Trump, however, made clear Wednesday he does not approve of that idea.