Bubba Wallace says it is time for NASCAR to join the Black Lives Matter movement.
Wallace wore a T-shirt that read “I Can’t Breath | Black Lives Matter” at Atlanta Motor Speedway on June 7, 2020. In a followup with CNN‘s Don Lemon, Wallace says it is time to do away with Confederate flags on the racetracks.
“No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. It starts with Confederate flags,” Wallace says. “Get them out of here. They have no place for them.
“There’s going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly but it’s time for change. We have to change that, and I encourage NASCAR to have those conversations to remove those flags.”
Wallace, 26, says he was not initially upset with the Confederate flags but changed his mind after educating himself on its history.
“We should not be able to have an argument over that,” Wallace concludes. “It is a thick line we cannot cross anymore.” To fans who disagree with him, he says they can “get back on the road where you came from.”
Days after Wallace’s plea, NASCAR has decided to remove the flag from their racing areas.
“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,” the organization said in a statement. “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.”
Following NASCAR’s announcement, Wallace shared his thoughts in an interview with Fox Sports.
“Bravo. Props to NASCAR and everybody involved,” he said. “This has been a stressful couple weeks. This is no doubt the biggest race of my career tonight. And it couldn’t be at a more perfect place, where I got my first win in the Truck Series in 2013. Followed it up with that second win in 2014. So I’m excited about tonight. There’s a lot of emotions on the race track and off the race track that are riding with us, but tonight is something special. Today’s been special. Again, hats off to NASCAR.”
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 10, 2020