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NASCAR driver to quit after confederate flag ban

NASCAR driver Ray Ciccarelli announced he will be leaving the sport after the 2020 season, claiming he doesn't agree with the "direction Nascar is headed".

Cicarelli, 50, took to Facebook to express his discontent with rule changes that will see a ban on confederate flags being flown at any races in response to recent protests highlighting racial inequality and police brutality.

African-American driver Bubba Wallace called for a ban on the flag in recent days as some drivers in the sport came together to produce a video to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The initial idea was unearthed by the NFL's biggest stars, who presented a unified front to try and force their league to act when addressing systemic racism. Although, the video NASCAR drivers made wasn't received too well by fans of the sport.

https://twitter.com/DaleJr/status/1269693508169891844?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

In his Facebook post, Ciccarelli said he does not believe in kneeling during the national anthem nor does he agree with taking away a person's right to fly whatever flag they choose.

The modern use of the confederate flag was started by those in opposition to the civil rights movement in the 1950's and 1960's and is widely viewed as a symbol of oppression which glorifies racism, slavery and white supremacy.

Ciccarelli explained in the post that he "could care less about the confederate flag" and that just because someone chooses to fly it "doesn't make them a racist".

"Well its 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, 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 f****** one group to cater to another and i ain't spend the money we are to participate in any political BS!! So everything is for SALE!! Sarah Ciccarelli"

https://twitter.com/JohnHaverlin/status/1270836283527647233?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Wallace was understandably happy with the sport's decision to officially ban fans from bringing the flag to races.

"Bravo, props to NASCAR and everyone involved," he told Fox Sports US.

Wallace, the only African-American driver who races full-time in any of NASCAR's top three series, has been urging his fellow drivers to help push the message of racial injustice since George Floyd was killed on May 25.

The sport's governing body requested fans not fly the confederate flag in 2015 after tensions were raised following a mass shooting by a white supremacist at an African-American church in South Carolina.

But the sanctioning body was clear to say it wasn't a ban – and some fans continued to fly it until the races were called due to the coronavirus in March.

https://twitter.com/NASCARONFOX/status/1270855133333729281?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Ciccarelli is only a part-time competitor in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.

In the 18 races he's competed in over a three year span he has managed to gain one top-10 finish.

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