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Sports News

Confederate flags pop up in sky, on roads, outside Talladega

NASCAR recently banned the Confederate flag from its racetracks but the organization has no control over the skies.

Jun 21, 2020; Talladega, AL, USA; A banner flys behind a plane that says “DEFUND NASCAR” at Talladega Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to Sunday’s scheduled GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, a small plane flew above the track with a banner of the Confederate flag and carrying a second banner that said “DEFUND NASCAR.”

There were vehicles outside the grounds displaying the Confederate flag. One social-media post displayed a video showing a stream of cars and trucks driving down Speedway Boulevard, with the flags waving.

People along the road were also waving the flag or cheering on the caravan. The race was later pushed back to Monday because of inclement weather.

Earlier this month, NASCAR banned the Confederate flags at its races and events, in part due to the request of Bubba Wallace, the entity’s lone black driver.

NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell wasn’t impressed by the sight of a plane displaying the Confederate flag and showed a picture of black and white hands clasped together on his Twitter feed Sunday.

“You won’t see a photo of a jackass flying a flag over the track here...but you will see this...Hope EVERYONE enjoys the race today.”

Sunday’s race was scheduled to have 5,000 fans in attendance, as well, as NASCAR continues to slowly ease COVID-19 restrictions.

Also, the logos on Denny Hamlin’s car were changed to display the National Civil Rights Museum.

Sponsor FedEx donated $500,000 in support of the museum’s mission to chronicle the history of civil rights in the United States. The museum and FedEx headquarters are both located in Memphis, Tenn., and Hamlin visited the museum on Thursday.

“Today you will see my #11 car will not carry the traditional paint scheme that you usually see,” Hamlin said on Twitter. “FedEx and myself instead want to give that voice to the NCRM. I want to thank them personally for taking the time to educate me on so many topics.”

--Field Level Media

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