Is NASCAR without racism still NASCAR?

Courtesy of Fox News

NASCAR will no longer allow the Confederate battle flag to fly at its events and race tracks following nationwide protests against racial inequality in the wake of George Floyd’s death, the company said Wednesday.

The decision came after Bubba Watson, the NASCAR Cup Series’ only black driver, and others called on the stock car circuit to ban the flag. The sight of the Confederate flag at NASCAR events was a divisive topic among fans in recent years, with critics arguing it is a symbol of slavery and racial oppression.

“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 display of the Confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.”

NASCAR President Steve Phelps pledged last Sunday that the stock car circuit would take steps to combat racial injustice. Wallace was set to run his No. 43 car with a “Black Lives Matter” paint scheme at a race Wednesday night at Martinsville Speedway.

While this seems like obviously good news and a solid move toward progress, it was not embraced by everybody. 

Courtesy of Sporting News

Ray Ciccarelli announced the end of his NASCAR Truck Series career with a furious Facebook post on Wednesday shortly after NASCAR banned Confederate flags from all events.

Ciccarelli, 50, has participated in 18 Truck Series races over the past four years, though none in 2020. He has finished in the top 10 once — a No. 9 placing at the Michigan International Speedway last year.

“Well its been a fun ride and dream come true but if this is the direction Nascar is headed we will not participate after the 2020 season is over,” Ciccarelli announced in a Facebook post (all misspellings are his own). “I don’t believe in kneeling during Anthem nor taken ppl right to fly whatever flag they love.

“I could care less about the Confederate Flag but there are ppl that do and it doesn’t make them a racist all you are doing is f—ing one group to cater to another.”

Ciccarelli went on to decry what he said was the insertion of “political BS” in NASCAR, a sport with traditionally conservative roots.

Well look at that, this decision is already starting to weed out the racists. 

You know if you could “care less about the Confederate flag” you probably would not quit over the fact they will not let you fly one at a sporting event anymore.