NASCAR Driver Ray Ciccarelli Quits In Protest Over Confederate Flag Ban
NASCAR truck series driver Ray Ciccarelli, who boasts precisely zero career wins in the series, has quit in protest after the organisation implemented a ban on the Confederate flag.
Ciccarelli, 50, revealed he was leaving the pickup truck racing series at the end of the season in a heated Facebook post, in which he described the ban as ‘political BS’.
NASCAR has put a stop to the Confederate flag being shown at all its events, as issues surrounding racial inequality come to the forefront of public discussion amidst the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests.
Taking to Facebook, Ciccarelli wrote:
I don’t believe in kneeling during Anthem nor taken ppl right to fly what ever flag they love. I could care less about the Confederate Flag but there are ppl that do and it doesn’t make them a racist all you are doing is f*cking one group to cater to another.
I ain’t spend the money we are to participate in any political BS!! So everything is for SALE!!
The Confederate flag is a divisive and polarising symbol in the US, and is often used by white supremacists to signal their racist views.
Although Ciccarelli stated that just because someone cares about the flag it ‘doesn’t make them a racist’, it’s completely understandable that people would feel uncomfortable seeing this particular flag at NASCAR events.
Following the American Civil War (1861-1865), many of those in the white south sentimentalised the flag, regarding it to symbolise the ‘lost cause’ of the war, a cause that was very much intertwined with polarised opinions on slavery.
As the US entered the 20th century, the flag accumulated further horrifying connotations, with the Ku Klux Klan flying it to show resistance to those wanting to put an end to dehumanising and deeply racist segregation laws.
It was held up during some of the most shockingly racist moments in US history, including during lynchings and at demonstrations organised solely to stop black children attending schools with white children.
The abhorrent history of the flag was recently highlighted by Bubba Wallace – NASCAR’s only black driver – who urged NASCAR to have confederate flags removed from race tracks.
On Monday, June,8, Wallace told CNN:
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.
Just two days later, on Wednesday, June, 10, NASCAR announced it would be banning spectators from displaying the Confederate flag at any of its races or events.
Unfortunately for Ciccarelli, his strong stance has attracted plenty of ridicule, with many mocking his less than impressive career record.
As one wise social media user commented:
The country is trying to move in a positive direction. Good riddance! It wasn’t like you were winning any races.
Wallace, 26, has since described himself as being ‘kind of baffled’ by Ciccarelli’s angry response during an interview with NBC’s Today programme.
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