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NASCAR bans Confederate flags from all events

The move to ban Confederate flags from racetracks across the country came two days after driver Bubba Wallace called for the organization to prohibit the flags. File Photo by Edwin Locke/UPI
The move to ban Confederate flags from racetracks across the country came two days after driver Bubba Wallace called for the organization to prohibit the flags. File Photo by Edwin Locke/UPI | License Photo

June 10 (UPI) -- NASCAR has banned Confederate flags at all events and properties, two days after driver Bubba Wallace called for the organization to do so.

"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 series said in a statement Wednesday.

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"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 move to ban the flag from all NASCAR events comes amid social unrest around the world after the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who was killed in police custody on Memorial Day in Minneapolis.

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Floyd's death led to protests across the United States and the removal of some Confederate monuments in the South -- the traditional fan base of NASCAR.

On Monday, Wallace -- who is the only black full-time driver in NASCAR -- told CNN that Confederate flags have no place at racetracks.

"My next step would be to get rid of all Confederate flags," Wallace said. "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."

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Wallace, who drives the No. 43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports, wore a shirt that read "I Can't Breathe" and "Black Lives Matter" before Sunday's race in Atlanta. The 26-year-old Alabama native understands his position won't sit well with some NASCAR fans.

"There's going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly, but it's time for change," Wallace said. "We have to change that, and I encourage NASCAR -- we will have those conversations to remove those flags."

In 2015, NASCAR asked fans not to bring Confederate flags to races and had a flag exchange program to "create an all-inclusive atmosphere," which angered many fans.

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NASCAR didn't disclose how it will enforce the new policy. The organization hasn't raced with fans in attendance since the sport resumed last month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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