NASCAR-sanctioned tracks are banding together to discourage fans from flying the Confederate flag during races.
A statement released Thursday by tracks from International Speedway Corp., Speedway Motorsports Inc. (which includes Charlotte Motor Speedway) and eight independently operated facilities stops short of banning the flag. But the tracks ask that “fans and partners … join us in a renewed effort to create an all-inclusive, even more welcoming atmosphere for all who attend our events. This will include the request to refrain from displaying the Confederate Flag at our facilities and NASCAR events.
“We are committed to providing a welcoming atmosphere free of offensive symbols. This is an opportunity for NASCAR Nation to demonstrate its sense of mutual respect and acceptance for all who attend our events while collectively sharing the tremendous experience of NASCAR racing.”
Daytona International Speedway, the site of two races this weekend, has already offered an exchange program in which fans can trade a Confederate flag for the American flag.
NASCAR chairman Brian France has said he does not want the Confederate flag flying at races, and the flag is already banned from use in any kind of official capacity at NASCAR tracks.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR’s most popular driver, is also opposed to the flag.
The flag issue has come to the forefront after nine African-Americans were murdered in a Charleston church in June. Dylann Roof, the accused killer, posed with the Confederate flag before the shootings.