A fan waves Confederate flags from the infield during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 6, 2015, in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
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He called it 'political BS'
A NASCAR driver announced his intention to quit the sport after the organization announced a ban on Confederate flags at races, according to MSN.
Ray Ciccarelli, a 50-year-old driver in NASCAR's truck racing series, criticized NASCAR for "political BS" for the flag ban and for allowing kneeling during the national anthem. The following quote has been edited for clarity.
"Well it's been a fun ride and dream come true, but if this is the direction NASCAR is headed, we will not participate after [the] 2020 season is over," Ciccarelli wrote on Facebook, "I don't believe in kneeling during [the] anthem nor [taking people's] right to fly whatever flag they love. I could care less about the Confederate flag, but there are people that do and it doesn't make them a racist; all you are doing is f***ing 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!!"
Ciccarelli has participated in 18 races over the past four years, with no wins and one top-10 finish.
NASCAR banned Confederate flags after Bubba Wallace, the sport's only black driver, called for the ban during an interview on CNN. Wallace participated in social justice protesting by wearing a shirt that read "I can't breathe" and "Black Lives Matter" during a race. On Wednesday night, Wallace drove a car featuring a Black Lives Matter paint scheme.
"The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry," a NASCAR statement read. "Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties."
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