NASCAR fans boo Black racer Bubba Wallace, cheer after he crashes at Confederate flag-adorned racetrack
Confederate flags reportedly flew at a recent NASCAR event, despite the organization's decision to ban the flag at races
That backlash reached a new low during a qualifier run as fans booed the racer, all while Confederate flags continued to wave at the event, according to an account by an Associated Press reporter.
Wallace was at Tennessee’s Bristol Motor Speedway for NASCAR’s Cup Series All-Star Race. It was one of the first racing events that featured fans in the stands since the coronavirus pandemic caused state governments to limit large gatherings, according to Deadline.
Racing reporter Jenna Fryer posted to social media that she saw Confederate flags present throughout the speedway and across the street from a condo window.
“FWIW, in addition to Confederate flag flying over Bristol there was another hanging off a balcony of a condo across from the main entrance as well as others along Speedway Blvd,” Fryer tweeted. “Spoke to fan @Matt2Harrison and he said he say many flags on shirts and other items in stands.”
Upon being introduced, fans booed Wallace, who has been in the press since late June after a noose was found in his stall at an Alabama raceway. Wallace has also championed Black Lives Matter.
To make matters worse, Wallace crashed during his qualifying run and spectators cheered when his car hit a wall.
“Bubba Wallace was also booed when he was introduced, and many cheered when he crashed. NASCAR still has a lot of work to do to back up its position,” Fryer tweeted. “The group Justice 4 Diversity held signs along Speedway Blvd. after the race.”
During an interview on Showtime‘s “Desus & Mero” Thursday, Wallace insisted, although he stands by his decision to support Black Lives Matter and NASCAR’s June 10th ban of the Confederate flag, that not every NASCAR fan is bigoted.
“We always want to pay attention to the negative, but the narrative that’s been out there now is saying all NASCAR fans are racist, and whatnot, and that’s totally not true,” Wallace stated.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!