NASCAR stated on Wednesday that it might ban the Confederate battle flag from its occasions and properties, turning into the most recent group to rethink the symbol’s place amid a nationwide reckoning over racism and white supremacy after the loss of life of George Floyd.
“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 stated in a press release. “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.”
NASCAR made the announcement two days after Darrell Wallace Jr., the primary black driver in 50 years to win one in every of its high three nationwide touring sequence, referred to as on NASCAR to ban the flags outright.
“No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race,” Mr. Wallace, who is named Bubba, informed Don Lemon of CNN. “So it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them.”
NASCAR began asking fans to stop bringing Confederate battle flags to races in 2015, after photos circulated online of the white man who killed nine black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., posing with the flag.
But many in NASCAR’s predominantly white Southern fan base have ignored the request and brought the flag anyway, hoisting it atop campers and R.V.s on fields around racetracks.
NASCAR officials did not immediately respond to messages asking whether the ban would apply to parking lots outside racetracks or to Confederate imagery emblazoned on objects other than flags, such as bumper stickers and T-shirts.
The announcement came just hours before Mr. Wallace was set to debut a new black paint scheme for his No. 43 Chevrolet, with the slogan “#blacklivesmatter” over the rear wheels, at the NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.
On Tuesday, Mr. Wallace and his team, Richard Petty Motorsports, revealed the new look for the car, which features, on the hood, a black fist and a white fist clasped in a grip above the slogan “Compassion, Love, Understanding.”
Across the country, government entities and private institutions have been rethinking symbols of the Confederacy as demonstrations against police brutality and racism have erupted in the weeks since Mr. Floyd, a black man, was killed after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee onto his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Last Friday, the Marine Corps issued detailed directives about removing and banning public displays of the Confederate battle flag at its installations — an order that extended to such items as mugs, posters and bumper stickers.
Also last week, the mayor of Birmingham, Ala., ordered the removal of a Confederate statue from a public park.
On Monday, a Pentagon official said that Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper and Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy were “open to a bipartisan discussion on the topic” of removing Confederate names from military bases.
President Trump, however, shut down any such discussions, writing on Twitter on Wednesday that “my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.”