Before the race began at Atlanta Motor Speedway this past weekend, the track held a moment of silence to reflect on the death of George Floyd, as well as the ongoing racism and racial injustices that the black community and other minorities face in America. Bubba Wallace, the only black driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, had tears in his eyes at the start-finish line and was also seen at pre-race activities wearing a shirt that read, "I Can't Breathe" and "Black Lives Matter." Wallace recently appeared on CNN to discuss his thoughts and experiences on the issues, and during his time, he stated he hopes NASCAR will ban Confederate flags from races in the near future.
In the interview on CNN, Don Lemon asked Wallace several questions on the topic of race in the United States and in NASCAR. Among the questions asked, Lemon inquired what next steps Wallace hopes to see from NASCAR to make it a safe space for people of any background.
"My next step would be to get rid of all Confederate flags," Wallace said. "There should be no individual that is uncomfortable showing up to our events to have a good time with their family that feels some type of way about something they have seen, an object they have seen flying. No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race, so it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them."
Wallace acknowledged he previously focused only on racing, not the flags, but said through discussions with others, he has come to a better understanding of why they are an issue.
"Diving more into it and educating myself, people feel uncomfortable with that," he said. "People talk about that, that's the first thing they bring up. So there are going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly, but it's time for change. We have to change that, and I encourage NASCAR to have those conversations."
Wallace has appeared on numerous platforms, made a variety of videos, and talked with a number of others to express how he feels. NASCAR driver Ty Dillon invited Wallace to have a discussion on Instagram live, which can be seen below. He also appeared on a podcast with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In each conversation, Wallace's message is the same: Listen and learn. Watch more of his thoughts, and those from other NASCAR drivers, in the videos below. Also, here's a look at Wallace's new livery:
"My next step would be to get rid of all Confederate flags,” says NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace after throwing his support behind the nationwide protests against police brutality. “Get them out of here." https://t.co/Kf4CrMLLGh pic.twitter.com/wSSBhByguS— CNN (@CNN) June 9, 2020
Time for real change. pic.twitter.com/sGdEEXbjkY— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) June 9, 2020
"We are listening. We are learning. We are ready for change."- Jeff Gordon pic.twitter.com/640QuG2Rwa— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 7, 2020
View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram