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Ray Ciccarelli leaving NASCAR after sport banned Confederate flag at its events

Ray Ciccarelli (Zach Catanzareti/WikiCommons)

Driver Ray Ciccarelli announced on Facebook he is leaving NASCAR after the 2020 season because the sport banned the Confederate flag at all its events.

Ciccarelli’s Facebook account has since been removed but not before the Houston Chronicle and other media outlets captured what he wrote.

Per the Chronicle, he posted, “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 2020 season is over. I don’t believe in kneeling during Anthem nor taken ppl right to fly what ever flag they love. I could care less about the Confederate Flag, but there are ppl that do and it doesn’t make them a racist all you are doing is (expletive) 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!!”

The link to the post now states, “Sorry, this content isn’t available right now.”

NASCAR banned the flag Wednesday and released the following statement: “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,” NASCAR wrote. “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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Bubba Wallace, an African-American driver, called for the flag to be banned Monday.

“My next step would be to get rid of all Confederate flags,” Wallace said on CNN. “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.

“There’s going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly, but it’s time for change,” he said. “We have to change that, and I encourage NASCAR — we will have those conversations to remove those flags.”

Ciccarelli races the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. He has had only one top-10 finish from 2017-20. His highest rank in those four years was 33rd in 2019, per his stats on ESPN.

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