“#Sons of Confederate Veterans takes credit for ‘Defund NASCAR’ banner”
June 25, 2020 | 1:27pm
A “Defund NASCAR” banner flew over Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.
“NASCAR’s banning the display of the Confederate battle flag by its fans is nothing less than trampling upon southerners’ First Amendment right of free expression,” Sons of Confederate Veterans commander in chief Paul C. Gramling Jr. told the Columbua Daily Herald. “This un-American act shall not go unchallenged. [On Sunday], members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Confederate Air Force displayed its disapproval of NASCAR’s trampling upon the First Amendment Rights of Southerners. During and before the start of the NASCAR race in Talladega, Alabama, race, our plane flew a banner announcing a drive to ‘defund NASCAR.’
“It is the hope of the Sons of Confederate Veterans that NASCAR fans will be allowed the fundamental American right of displaying pride in their family and heritage. The Sons of Confederate Veterans is proud of the diversity of the Confederate military and our modern Southland. We believe NASCAR’s slandering of our Southern heritage only further divides our nation.”
Tensions have been high in NASCAR since the sport banned the Confederate flag on June 10. Driver Ray Ciccarelli has threatened to quit following the season. On Sunday, in addition to the “Defund NASCAR” banner, a noose was found in the garage of racer Bubba Wallace, the sport’s only black driver. It was initially thought to be a hate crime and act of intimidation against the 26-year-old Wallace, who two weeks ago led the charge for NASCAR to ban Confederate flags at all of its events and properties, wore an “I can’t breathe” shirt before an event and had driven with Black Lives Matter painted on the side of his car. But after an FBI investigation, it was revealed to be a misunderstanding – it was a garage door pull rope — since video footage revealed it had been there since at least October of 2019.
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