NASCAR bans Confederate flag from its races and properties

Sports

FILE – In this Sept. 5, 2015, file photo, a Confederate flag flies in the infield before a NASCAR Xfinity auto race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. Bubba Wallace, the only African-American driver in the top tier of NASCAR, calls for a ban on the Confederate flag in the sport that is deeply rooted in the South. (AP Photo/Terry Renna, File)

(AP) – NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag from its races and properties.

NASCAR says Wednesday the Confederate flag “runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry.”

Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s lone black driver, called this week for the banishment of the Confederate flag and said there was “no place” for them in the sport. Wallace asked the stock car series with deep ties to the South to formally distance itself from what for millions is a symbol of slavery and racism.

At long last, NASCAR obliged.

Former chairman Brian France in 2015 tried to ban the flying of Confederate flags at race tracks, a proposal too broad to enforce and one that angered NASCAR’s core Southern-based fan base.

The move was announced before Wednesday night’s race at Martinsville Speedway. Wallace was set to drive a Chevrolet with a #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme.

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