NASCAR racer Bubba Wallace called out the organization today for its longstanding approval of Confederate flags at matches.
Wallace is NASCAR’s only black driver. The presence of Confederate flags at the stock car races has been prominent since the organization’s inception in 1948.
NASCAR issued a statement June 1 about the ongoing civil rights protests across the country, noting that “For us to heal and move forward as a nation, we all need to listen more and be unite in the stand against racism, hatred, senseless violence and loss of life… and we must hold ourselves accountable to driving positive change.”
Speaking with CNN’s Don Lemon Monday night, Wallace said, “my next step would be to get rid of all confederate flags. No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. It starts with confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them.”
Wallace did acknowledge NASCAR’s recent statement and efforts to bring together drivers in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement was the company “stepping up to the plate big-time.”
“There’s going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly but it’s time for change,” Wallace said of the NASCAR fan base, which skews predominantly white. “We have to change that, and I encourage NASCAR — we will have those conversations to remove those flags.”
NASCAR did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
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