NASCAR has had themselves a good week. Amid all the racial tension going on around the country right now, they’re separating themselves from the pack and uniting folks instead.
Last Sunday in Atlanta, NASCAR took drastic steps in their fight against racism which included a moment of silence and a statement read by president Steve Phelps. He said that the sport “must do better” in recognizing it and taking steps to improve their environment.
On Tuesday, they made a statement that they’re an all inclusion sport for all makes of life. Then, earlier this afternoon, NBC Sports reported that NASCAR had removed all guidelines requiring all team members to stand for the national anthem. The guidelines were actually removed last week before the Atlanta race when NASCAR official Kirk Price kneeled during the invocation and raised a fist. Price served in the U.S. Army for three years, active duty.
He remained kneeling during the anthem while saluting the flag.
Now, NASCAR has taken another step — banning of the confederate flag. They issued a statement on that on Wednesday afternoon.
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. 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.”
This is big. While NASCAR has tried many ways to eliminate the flag from their tracks, it never fully went away. Yes, the flag was less prevalent, but if you tried hard enough, you could still find it at most tracks during the course of a race weekend. Now, you won’t anymore.
“I only salute one flag and that’s America’s,” said Brad Keselowski. “I recognize that that flag might mean something different to different people, but it doesn’t mean United States of America to me.”
Keselowski, also said that he recognizes the rights of other humans and isn’t going to tell people that they need to get rid of it, but he won’t salute or respect it.
His teammate Ryan Blaney agrees.
“As far as the confederate flags go, they had that trade your flag in and I think everyone has their beliefs,” Blaney said this past weekend in Atlanta. “It’s tough, but I don’t really enjoy it because sometimes I feel like the people that wave them mean the negative when they wave them and that’s not cool. Yeah, I’d love to not see them at the race track, honestly, because it doesn’t make everyone comfortable, so that’s kind of where I stand on that. Bring your 50 stars flag. I think that would be way better.”
The sport is united and they want the world to know, you’re all welcome and shouldn’t feel threatened in any way of attending a race.