NASCAR banned the Accomplice flag from its races and properties on Wednesday, formally distancing itself from what for a lot of is an emblem of slavery and racism that had been a well-known sight at inventory automobile occasions for greater than 70 years.
The transfer comes amid social unrest across the globe following the loss of life in police custody of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis. Protests have roiled the nation for days and Accomplice monuments are being taken down throughout the South — the tradtiional fan base for NASCAR.
Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s lone black driver, known as this week for the banishment of the Accomplice flag and stated there was “no place” for them within the sport. In the end, NASCAR obliged.
“The presence of the accomplice flag at NASCAR occasions runs opposite to our dedication to offering a welcoming and inclusive surroundings for all followers, our rivals and our trade,” NASCAR stated. “Bringing folks collectively round a love for racing and the group that it creates is what makes our followers and sport particular. The show of the accomplice flag shall be prohibited from all NASCAR occasions and properties.”
The transfer was introduced earlier than Wednesday evening’s race at Martinsville Speedway the place Wallace, an Alabama native, was driving a Chevrolet with a #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme. Wallace acquired a shoutout on Twitter from a number of athletes, together with NBA star LeBron James, for utilizing the paint scheme within the race.
The flag situation has been a thorny one for NASCAR. Former chairman Brian France in 2015 tried to ban the flying of Accomplice flags at race tracks, angering many followers.
NASCAR didn’t tackle how it will implement the coverage or point out any penalties for followers who violate it by bringing the Accomplice flag to the monitor. NASCAR has not raced with followers because the sport resumed final month amid the pandemic and was anticipated to have minimal followers allowed at races this month in Florida and Georgia.