NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from its races and venues on Wednesday, formally severing itself from what for many is a symbol of slavery and racism.
The move comes amid social unrest around the globe following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis while being detained by several white police officers. Protests have roiled the nation for days and Confederate monuments are being taken down across the South — the traditional fan base for NASCAR.
Confederate flags have been a familiar sight at NASCAR races over its 72-year history, popping up the infield atop RVs or being waved by fans in the grandstands, though the stock car series has in recent years taken cautious steps to sever the connection.
The issue was pushed in to the spotlight this week as Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s only black driver, called for a ban on the Confederate flag and said there was “no place” for it in the sport.