On Monday morning, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called for the removal of the Confederate Flag from the state Capitol. On Tuesday, NASCAR responded with support for Haley’s decision with a statement on the move in South Carolina.
Here is NASCAR’s statement:
As we continue to mourn the tragic loss of life last week in Charleston, we join our nation’s embrace of those impacted. NASCAR supports the position that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley took on the Confederate Flag on Monday. As our industry works collectively to ensure that all fans are welcome at our races, NASCAR will continue our long-standing policy to disallow the use of the Confederate Flag symbol in any official NASCAR capacity. While NASCAR recognizes that freedom of expression is an inherent right of all citizens, we will continue to strive for an inclusive environment at our events.
The removal of the Confederate Flag comes just days after a shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston that left nine dead. It’s also a sticky situation for the sport with fans raising the flag in the infield and all over the track at NASCAR events.
In just over two months, the Sprint Cup will return to Darlington Raceway—a track just two hours away from Charleston—for the Southern 500. It’s a race steeped in tradition, but would have likely been a controversial one had NASCAR not announced its stance on the move by Haley.
NASCAR’s official stance is a pretty sharp departure from its earlier days, like this 1976 Darlington program. pic.twitter.com/wQOUHMCajt
— Jay Busbee (@jaybusbee) June 23, 2015
Addressing the issue of the flag being raised at NASCAR events might be a much tougher hurdle to jump over. But with its foot firmly planted on the situation taking place in South Carolina, there is no question where NASCAR falls in this argument.
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