Ray Ciccarelli, part-time driver from the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck series, spoke out against NASCAR’s decision in a widely read Facebook article on Wednesday, saying he would not return after the racing season ends. 2020, citing the company’s decision to ban the flag.
“Well, it was a fun ride and the dream came true, but if it is in this direction that Nascar is heading, we will not participate after the end of the 2020 season, I do not believe in kneeling during the hymn or to take the right to display the flag they like, “wrote Ciccarelli, 50, on Facebook.
He added: “I don’t care about the Confederate flag, but there are people who do it and that doesn’t make them racists, all you do is f – one group to respond to another and i am not spending the money we have to participate in any political BS !! So everything is FOR SALE !! ”
The message has since been deleted.
NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from events two days after Bubba Wallace, the only full-time African American driver in the NASCAR’s Cup Series, went to CNN on Monday evening and asked for its removal.
“No one should feel uncomfortable when it comes to a NASCAR race. It starts with Confederate flags, “Wallace said to CNN’s Don Lemon. “Get them out of here. They have no place for them. “
On Wednesday, Wallace raced in an all-black car with the words “#blacklivesmatter” and wore a shirt that said “I Can’t Breathe” in honor of George Floyd, the man killed by the Minneapolis police on May 25 . , which has sparked nationwide unrest and protests in cities across the United States. Thousands of people marched to demand an end to racial discrimination and police violence.
“The presence of the Confederate flag at NASCAR events goes against our commitment to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry,” NASCAR said in a statement before its race on Wednesday evening at Martinsville, in Virginia.
“Bringing people together with a love for racing and the community it creates is what makes our fans and the sport special. The display of the Confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties. ”
NASCAR manages three national series – Cup, Xfinity and trucks – and its race at Martinsville was run without fans in the stands due to state restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Steve Almasy, Jill Martin, Dianne Gallagher and Amir Vera of CNN contributed to this report.