NASCAR bans confederate flags at all races, events

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Posted at 5:05 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 21:00:40-04

NASCAR has announced it will ban Confederate flags at its races and events.

The racing company said on social media that the controversial flag "runs contrary" to NASCAR's commitment to "providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry."

NASCAR released the following statement on social media:

"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. Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties."

Wednesday's announcement comes as NASCAR is on track to be the first major professional sports league in the United States to welcome back fans.

The Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway will invite 1,000 service members from South Florida to its race this weekend. The following Sunday at the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR will sell up to 5,000 tickets to fans.

Fans will be required to be screened before entering, to wear face coverings, to social distance at 6 feet, and will not have access to the infield, among other revised operational protocols.

The Confederate flag ban also comes in the wake of George Floyd's death.

Floyd's death caught the nation's attention after a viral video showed the 46-year-old man struggling while in police custody back in late May. The video showed a white police officer, later identified as Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd's neck.

Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder before it was later upgraded to second-degree murder. He’s also being charged with manslaughter.

The three other officers involved in the deadly incident -- Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane -- are being charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder for their role in Floyd's death.