NASCAR driver quits in response to Confederate flag ban

Ray Ciccarelli, a NASCAR owner/driver, says that 'politics' and the Confederate flag ban means he will leave the sport

NASCAR driver/owner Ray Ciccarelli (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

This week NASCAR announced that it would be banning the Confederate flag from being displayed at all events and properties moving forward, and apparently that bothered one driver so much he opted to quit altogether.

READ MORE: NASCAR bans Confederate flag after demand by Bubba Wallace

“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.”

But according to an account from auto racing columnist John Haverlin, truck driver/owner Ray Ciccarelli took offense to the new rules and was so upset he vowed that the 2020 season will be his last in NASCAR altogether.

According to Haverlin, Ciccarelli doesn’t agree with taking away people’s “right to fly what ever flag they love” and therefore no longer wants “to participate in any political BS!!”

While some may be upset by the decision, Monday, Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s only Black driver, told CNN’s Don Lemon that the move was long overdue, and his stance is now being credited for inspiring the car racing company to make the announcement.

READ MORE: Who is NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace?

“No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. It starts with Confederate flags,” he explained. “Get them out of here. They have no place for them.”

 

It appears Ciccarelli won’t be missed that much as evidenced by this tweet:

While NASCAR remains the sport with the whitest audience out of the major professional U.S. sporting leagues, the response, at least on social media, was mostly positive.

 


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