Though it does not permit drivers to display the Confederate flag on its cars, NASCAR has come in for criticism from some quarters for allowing fans to display the flag on campers and R/V vehicles in the parking lots of race tracks.
NASCAR chairman Brian France has said his organization will go “as far as we can go” to bar the Confederate flag, viewed by many as a symbol of racist behavior and beliefs, from being displayed at the tracks.
Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. have each denounced the displaying of Confederate flags at the track. Former NBA player Brad Daugherty, an African-American who owns a car that runs in the Sprint Cup Series, has said that the flying of Confederate flags at NASCAR tracks “makes my skin crawl.”
Flying of the Confederate flag has come under particular scrutiny in the past two weeks, since a 21-year-old man admitted to shooting and killing nine people in a Charleston, S.C., church. Images of the accused shooter, Dylann Roof, have surfaced with him holding the flag and other symbols associated with white supremacist behavior.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has called for a Confederate flag that flies over the statehouse grounds to be taken down. NASCAR issued a statement of support of Haley’s position.