NASCAR officially broke away from the Confederate flag on Wednesday, a move that many people see as a symbol of slavery and racism. The flag had been a common sight at stock car races for more than 70 years.
He didn’t want to go “there” with the race. One word made sure he did what he had to do. After the death of George Floyd, a black man who was detained by police and died, there has been a lot of protest around the world.
Protests have been going on across the country for days, and Confederate monuments are being taken down in the American south, which is the traditional fan base for Nascar.
Confederate flags have been a common sight at NASCAR races for the past 72 years, either on RVs or by fans in the stands. The stock car series with its roots in moonshine running has been taking small steps to break the link.
“What makes our fans and sport unique are that we bring people together around a love for racing and the community that it builds.” When the confederate flag is shown at any Nascar event or property, it will be banned.
Before Wednesday night’s race at Martinsville Speedway, Richard Petty Motorsports announced that the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet would be painted with a #BlackLivesMatter design. Wallace, who is from Alabama, was driving the car with the design.
Many athletes, including LeBron James, were happy with Wallace for how he used the scheme in the race. It looked like Wallace was wearing an American flag mask. When he was asked about the decision to start the race on FS1, he raised his hands.
A few weeks ago, Wallace said, “It’s been a stressful time.” There’s no doubt that this is going to be the most important race of my life tonight! I can’t wait for tonight. There are a lot of feelings on the race track.
During the national anthem, Wallace didn’t kneel down. He wore a black “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirt, but he didn’t. They did not say how they would enforce this rule or what might happen to people who brought the Confederate flag to the track.
NASCAR has not raced with fans since the pandemic began last month when the sport began again. Plans have been made to let a small number of fans come to races in Florida and Georgia this month, the company says.
It was five years ago when nine black churchgoers were slain in Charleston, South Carolina, and the flag was a big issue for NASCAR because of that. Confederate symbols were a big part of Dylann Roof’s life before the attack, which led to a new look at how important they are in the South.
When Brian France was the chairman of Nascar at the time, he said the series was “working with the industry to see how far we can go to get that flag to be completely separate from our events.”
Many people didn’t want to trade Confederate flags for American flags, so the flags have been seen at the events.
In recent years, Nascar has been more open to getting rid of the Confederate flag. A lot of drivers said they were behind Wallace’s goal to get rid of the flag from the sport. Denny Hamlin, who won the Daytona 500 twice, was one of them.
The mostly white field of drivers came together over the weekend to make a video about social change. Kirk Price, a black official for Nascar, took a knee before a race near Atlanta on Sunday. This may have been the first time the series has done this, but we don’t know for sure. I Can’t Breathe was written on a black T-shirt that Wallace wore at the race.
Steve Phelps, the president of Nascar, spoke to the drivers before last Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He said that in the wake of Floyd’s death, he would do better to address racial injustice in the sport.
Wallace said on FS1 that he and Michael Phelps have talked a lot about what to do next. “That was a big moment for the sport.” A lot of people don’t like it, but it opens the door for the community to come together as one.