A NASCAR Truck Series driver is quitting the sport at the end of the year over the organization’s ban on Confederate memorabilia.
Ray Ciccarelli wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday that it has “been a fun ride and dream come true but if this is the direction Nascar is headed we will not participate after 2020 season is over.”
NASCAR on Wednesday suddenly and unexpectedly barred Confederate memorabilia, which many see as symbols of slavery and racism, in the name of providing “a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans.”
NASCAR had already banned its cars from displaying the Confederate flag, once a common theme in the heavily Southern circuits, from its own cars and merchandise, but fans were still allowed to display the banner.
That will no longer be allowed and Mr. Ciccarelli accused the organization of taking sides politically, against its own fans.
“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 [expletive] one group to cater to another,” he wrote, adding that he won’t spend money “to participate in any political BS!! So everything is for SALE!!”
NASCAR helmet artist Jason Beam also described the decision as “ignorance wins again.”
He noted from his Twitter feed @BEAMdesigns, correctly as far as it goes, that the enslavement of Africans took place under the U.S. flag and that some of the states victorious in the Civil War also had slavery, at least in 1861.
“You want to remove the American Flag as well, idiots,” he asked.
“The American Flag flew over slavery from 1776 to 1865, why not prohibit it? Tell me again how this is not cherry picking propaganda to pander what happened last week,” he asked one person.
The Southern states that seceded and created the Confederacy all explicitly said they were doing so to preserve slavery from the perceived threat of Republican President Abraham Lincoln.