NASCAR announced Wednesday that it is joining the media-led crowd, signaling its virtue by “banning” the display of the Confederate flag from all of its events and properties, according to the Charlotte Observer.
“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,” NASCAR 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 decision follows the sport’s recent vocal commitment to promoting and supporting racial equality following nationwide, media-inflamed protests about the deaths of African Americans who get into trouble with the police, which the media are portraying as a genocidal campaign.
Last week, the sanctioning body issued a statement saying that “we must all hold ourselves accountable to driving positive change.”
“While our sport has made progress over the years, there remains much work to be done,” the statement said. “And we fully embrace our responsibility to help bridge the racial divide that continues to exist in our country.”
After a NASCAR official took a knee during the national anthem as a form of protest before Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, driver Bubba Wallace, the only African-American driver in the sport’s top series, said the next step for NASCAR was to remove the Confederate flag from events.
“No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race,” Wallace declared on CNN. He went on to command that “it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here.”
Although the sanctioning body previously banned the flag from any official status, Confederate flags still flew atop hundreds of fan trailers around campgrounds at this year’s Daytona 500 in February.