NASCAR Issues Statement About The Confederate Flag


John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The right to fly the Confederate flag has become somewhat of a hot topic in the United States following the tragic shooting that took place in Charleston a few days ago. For some the Confederate flag is a sign of respect towards history while for others the flag represents a way of life. Lined up on the other side of the coin are those who believe the flag represents hate and racism.

More from NASCAR

The Confederate flag is obviously more prevalent in southern states. NASCAR is also more prevalent in the southern states when it comes to popularity. Earlier this week NASCAR released a statement in regards to the call by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on Monday for the removal of the Confederate flag from its statehouse in Columbia.

"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."

A similar call has been made by the state of Alabama which happens to be the home of Talladega Superspeedway. South Carolina is of course the home of Darlington Raceway.

The call for the removal of the flag has some NASCAR fans (and non-NASCAR fans) up in arms. Those who oppose the removal feel as though they are having a personal freedom taken away from them. The personal freedom to fly the Confederate flag at a NASCAR event is something that has not be had by fans for a long time. Scott Cooper, vice president of communications for Charlotte Motor Speedway and John Saunders, president of International Speedway Corporation both issued statements via press releases earlier this week. Cooper issued his statement on behalf of Speedway Motorsports Inc. which encompasses eight NASCAR tracks while Saunders issues his on behalf of Speedway Corporation which encompasses 12 NASCAR tracks.

Scott Cooper:

"Our facilities do not fly the Confederate flag nor do we sell flags or souvenirs with the image, and we ask any third-party vendors to remove such items from their inventory on our property. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the families and friends of the Charleston shooting victims, and we will recognize the victims with a moment of silence at our Summer Shootout Series this evening at Charlotte Motor Speedway."

John Saunders:

"We join NASCAR in support of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s position on the Confederate flag. ISC strives to ensure all fans are welcome to enjoy our events and maintains an inclusive environment at our facilities nationwide. ISC will continue our long-standing practice to prohibit the sale of Confederate flag material on our property."

Where do you fall on this topic? Should NASCAR and the tracks have ever banned the flags in the first place? Should some of the states in the south be banning the flag now? What does the flag mean to you? Be sure to comment below and let us know.

Next: Five Bold Predictions For The Rest Of The NASCAR Season