NASCAR announced Wednesday that it was banning the Confederate flag at all its future races and in all its venues going forward.
Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., currently the only full-time black driver on the NASCAR circuit, was a guest on Good Morning America Thursday and said he’s “really proud of the efforts of NASCAR and wanting to be a part of change.”
Race relations have been front and centre in recent weeks, specifically in the United States, in the wake of the death of George Floyd with daily protests happening all over the world.
“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,” a NASCAR statement read. “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.”
Wallace drove a No. 43 Chevrolet car on Wednesday during a race at the Martinsville Speedway in Virginia with a #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme and the words “compassion, love, understanding” emblazoned on the side.
The 26-year-old Mobile, Ala., native finished the race in 11th place.
“You look at the Confederate flag and how, yes, it may mean heritage to most but to a group that is in a lot of pain right now – the African-American community is in a lot of pain – that’s a symbol of hate and it brings back so many bad memories, signs of oppression from way back when and there’s no good that comes with that flag and that’s the message that we’re trying to get across,” Wallace said.