Bubba Wallace is NASCAR’s only Black driver right now. After the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police, many people marched to support the BLM movement. Bubba Wallace decided to show his support, too. He wore a Black Lives Matter t-shirt under his racing suit. Then he painted Black Lives Matter on his race car. Some fans did not like it. But there was a bigger change to come.
NASCAR made the decision to ban the Confederate flag. The Confederate flag is the flag of the South during the Civil War. While some people in the South view the flag as part of their history, the flag comes from a time when people were fighting to keep slaves. For many, the Confederate flag stands for a history of hatred. Many fans displayed the flag at the track. That made Black fans uncomfortable. NASCAR wanted to make a better environment for all the fans.
Many NASCAR fans were angry about the flag ban. They stopped watching NASCAR. But NASCAR did not change its mind. Many people who had never watched NASCAR started to watch. Some did not even know that NASCAR had a Black racer. Former racer Bill Lester believes the flag ban is a step in the right direction for NASCAR. He said, “I hope those that are so opposed and angry about the changes that are taking place stay home. . . . It’s not their sport. NASCAR is America’s sport.”
What Do You Think? Do you think that banning the Confederate flag was a good idea for NASCAR? How do you think sports can be open for all fans?
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