It shouldn’t be hard for NASCAR drivers to take a clear stance against the Confederate flag

As evidenced by its consistent and sometimes dominant presence at race tracks, the Confederate flag is not banned by NASCAR. It’s merely “disallowed,” and that spineless stance toward a symbol of racism and slavery is long overdue for a change, especially as protests rage on in the U.S. and around the globe against racial injustice.

Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. perfectly summed up what should be the position of everybody in NASCAR when he was a guest on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon on Monday. He said, “Get them out of here” because “no one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race.”

His opinion shouldn’t be remotely controversial. But, then again, NASCAR shouldn’t be permitting fans to fly a blatant symbol of hate at races while it attempts to promote an inclusive environment and grow its fan base.

So – even after several big-name drivers recently created an anti-racism video pledging to listen and educate themselves “to make real change” – why is it that some drivers are having such a difficult time saying that they agree with Wallace and NASCAR should ban the Confederate flag?

CNN Tonight@CNNTonight

NASCAR drivers have joined the growing list of athletes and sports leagues throwing their support behind the nationwide protests against police brutality.

“We are trying to deliver the message across, listen and learn,” says NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace. 696:41 AM – Jun 9, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy32 people are talking about this

NASCAR had virtual news conferences Tuesday with three superstar drivers – Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin, who combined for two Cup Series championships and four Daytona 500 wins – and each one was asked directly if they agree with Wallace’s call to ban the Confederate flag.

And no one definitively said yes, they agree with him, or no, they don’t.

Truex came the closest, but you don’t get a participation trophy for almost denouncing the Confederate flag. The No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver mentioned how privilege can enable ignorance and said that hearing Wallace speak about the flag “wakes you up a bit.”

“I think NASCAR’s going to do the right thing there, and I stand with what they come up with there,” Truex said without specifically mentioning what the right thing is.

Hamlin, Truex’s teammate in the No. 11 Toyota, cited the many American flags also seen at races and said: “NASCAR’s going to continue to make changes, and … I’m supportive of whatever they want to change.”

Logano said although he’s trying to educate himself, he has “no idea” why people fly the Confederate flag, but it’s “probably smart” for him to learn about it.

A Confederate flag flies in the infield before a NASCAR Xfinity auto race at Darlington Raceway in 2015.

“I’m not someone that’s waved the Confederate flag in the past in any way. I’m someone that waves the American flag, and I wave it proudly,” the No. 22 Team Penske Ford driver said without answering whether he agrees with Wallace.

All three drivers danced around the question, for which they had ample time to prepare an answer.

Lognao’s teammates, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney, were asked after Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway about banning the Confederate flag (before Wallace’s appearance on CNN). Keselowski said he doesn’t respect or salute the Confederate flag, but he’s “not gonna tell people they need to get rid of it.”Get the Sports newsletter in your inbox.

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Blaney, a close friend of Wallace’s, was more blunt. And while he didn’t say NASCAR should ban it, he was clear about how he feels:

“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.”

Wallace – the only African American driver at NASCAR’s top level, who will race with a #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme on it Wednesday at Martinsville Speedway – went on a national cable news show this week and said the governing body’s next step in what needs to be an ongoing anti-racism fight should be banning the Confederate flag.

But some drivers still can’t explicitly say the racist symbol doesn’t belong in NASCAR as it becomes a national story. As ESPN’s Mike Wilbon said Tuesday on Pardon The Interruption:


“I see the Southern flag and it raises the hair on my arm.”@realmikewilbon hopes Tony is right when he predicts that NASCAR will ban Confederate flags59912:13 AM – Jun 10, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy123 people are talking about this

“I feel a certain way about the Confederate flag and probably even more strongly than Bubba Wallace. And I understand exactly. I see the southern flag, and it raises the hair on my arm. I find it loathsome.”

Five-time NBA All-Star Brad Daugherty, the co-owner of JTG Daugherty Racing, recently told The Undefeated people are surprised to learn about his love for NASCAR, saying: “You’re African American. Why?'” And in 2015, he said the Confederate flag “makes my skin crawl,” adding (via USA TODAY Sports):

“The old heritage versus hate thing in my mind is ridiculous because that flag, to any African-American person, does not represent any type of heritage. It 100% represents hate.”

Truly, if NASCAR and its drivers are sincere in their commitment to listen to others like Wallace, black leaders and black fans in an effort to fight institutional racism and attempt to make real change, they should start with the Confederate flag.

They should simply say how the flag is a symbol of racism and slavery, the antithesis of the inclusivity it’s trying to promote, and it doesn’t belong in racing. And then, NASCAR should ban it.See How This App Gets You Speaking A Language In 3 WeeksBabbel|SponsoredNew Portable AC is Selling Out Fast in RwandaBlaux Wearable AC|SponsoredPlay this Game for 1 Minute and see why everyone is addictedDesert Order|SponsoredWatch Netflix US in 2020 From AnywhereVPN Mentor|SponsoredMan Orders Pizza Every Day for 10 Years Until Employees Realize SomethingHabit Tribe|SponsoredNetflix Users – Access Hundreds of New Titles While Quarantine Using This ToolTheTopFiveVPN|SponsoredA Scientist Released A Painting Of Jesus, And It Changes What Everyone BelievedGloriousa|SponsoredRemember Him From ‘Back To The Future’? This Is How He Looks At 58Lawyers Blvd|SponsoredMan Posts Photo Of ‘Rock’ Found On Beach Until Doctor Tells Him What It Really IsHabit Tribe|SponsoredTop 24 Richest and Poorest Countries of Africa – Find out Rwanda RankEverydaychimp|SponsoredDeal of the DayThe best robot vacuum we’ve ever tested is on sale for its lowest price everSTORY FROM REVIEWEDView Deal Recommendations are independently chosen by our editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.Recommended ContentFor caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s, COVID-19 poses new challengesTHESE 5 TIPS CAN HELP ALZHEIMER’S CAREGIVERS NAVIGATE COVID-19 GUIDELINES AND STAY OPTIMISTIC.Melissa Rauch Down Sized Her Bikini (Photos)Free Hub|SponsoredMom Delivers Triplets – Dad Takes Closer Look And Bursts Into TearsTip Parents|SponsoredMost PopularCoronavirus is bringing back these two American travel staplesTRAVELPost-COVID travel: 5 countries offer promotions to entice travelersTRAVELVideo shows counter-protesters appearing to mock George Floyd’s deathNEWSFeatured VideoForbes is calling out Kylie and Jenner family for lying about financesMONEYDo You Speak English? Work a USA job from home in RwandaWork from Home | Search Ads|Sponsored24 Photos Of Shelter Dogs The Moment They Realize They’re Being AdoptedGloriousa|SponsoredFeatured GalleryApril/May editorial cartoon galleryOPINIONAdele Down Sized Her Bikini (Photos)Mortgage After Life|SponsoredVillas For Sale in Dubai Might Totally Surprise YouVillas for Sale in Dubai | Search Ads|SponsoredMost PopularFamily, Biden pay tribute to George FloydNEWSGOP responds to unfounded Trump tweet on protesterNEWS‘Black Lives Matter’ painted on Charlotte streetNEWS

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