Politics

NASCAR Tracks Band Together Against Confederate Flag

Eight days after NASCAR reaffirmed its ban on the use of the Confederate flag in any official capacity, the owners of all 30 racetracks along the association's national series circuit issued a statement asking fans not to display the controversial symbol at races or racing facilities going forward.

"As members of the NASCAR industry, we join NASCAR in the desire to make our events among the most fan-friendly, welcoming environments in all of sports and entertainment," the tracks said on Thursday. "To do that, we are asking our fans and partners to join us in a renewed effort to create an all-inclusive, even more welcoming atmosphere for all who attend our events."

Some of the industry's biggest players have weighed in on the flag debate in recent weeks: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, and NASCAR chairman Brian France have each commented on the issue. "I don't think there's a place for it," Gordon told CBS This Morning. "I support NASCAR and I'm so glad that they banned it."

The latest statement comes in response to criticism that the association has attracted in spite of the company-wide ban. While NASCAR has prohibited the Confederate flag from use in any "official," corporate setting, the symbol is regularly seen waving over the infield—and with Fourth of July races slated this weekend at Daytona International Speedway, the pressure was on for track owners to tackle the problem.

Organizers at Daytona plan to offer a patriotic alternative to the racially-charged symbol:

"We are committed to providing a welcoming atmosphere free of offensive symbols," the letter continued. "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."

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Posted by ATTN: on Friday, June 19, 2015