NASCAR Bubba Wallace wants Confederate flags to be removed from the tracks

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Bubba Wallace, the only African-American NASCAR driver at the highest level in the sport, called on the organization to remove Confederate flags from racetracks in the future.

Wallace wore a shirt that said “I can’t breathe / Black Lives Matter” Sunday before his run in Atlanta. He told CNN on Monday that NASCAR should target the Confederate flags.

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“My next step would be to get rid of all the Confederate flags,” said runner 43. “No one should feel uncomfortable when it comes to a NASCAR race. So it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them. ”

The 26-year-old said he knew his grip was unpopular.

“There will be many angry people who will proudly carry these flags, but it is time to change,” he told CNN. “We need to change that, and I encourage NASCAR – we will have these conversations to suppress these flags. ”

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Wallace’s comments came after NASCAR President Steve Phelps sent a message to the pilots before the start of the Atlanta race.

“Thanks for your time,” said Phelps. “Our country is suffering and people are justifiably angry and ask to be heard. The black community and all people of color have suffered in our country, and it has taken us far too long to hear their demands for change. Our sport must do better. Our country must do better. ”

A black NASCAR official also took a knee in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.

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“The time has come to listen to, understand and fight racism and racial injustice,” said Phelps. “We ask our pilots… and all of our fans to join us in this mission, to take a moment to reflect, to recognize that we have to do better as a sport, and to join us as we now take a break and let’s take a moment to listen. ”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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