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World_news Confederate flag banner flies over Bristol Motor Speedway before NASCAR All-Star Race – USA TODAY

World_news

Mike Hembree, Special for USA TODAY
Published 7: 28 p.m. ET July 15, 2020

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SportsPulse: While NASCAR has handled the past weeks well the latest release of the noose photo in Bubba Wallace’s garage continues to raise concerns.

USA TODAY

BRISTOL, Tenn. – A Confederate flag banner similar to one flown over Talladega Superspeedway last month was flown over Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday before NASCAR’s All-Star Race.

The banner included “SCV.org” beside the Confederate flag. The Sons of Confederate Veterans organization operates that website.

The banner flown at Talladega on June 21 included the flag and the words “Defund NASCAR.” The SCV claimed responsibility for the Talladega banner.

Also during that weekend,a noose was foundin the garage of Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver competing on NASCAR’s top-tier series. After an investigation, the FBI announced evidence showed the noose was in the garage at least as early as October 2019.

Wallace has helped lead NASCAR’s response following the killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day and the subsequent protests nationwide and around the world. His most significant impact so far was calling for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag from all events, speedways and other NASCAR properties, which the governing body did two days later on June 10.

At Talladega in the days following NASCAR’s announcement, protesters opposed to the banishment organized a parade of vehicles displaying the Confederate image.

There were no Confederate flags visible in the grandstands at Bristol on Wednesday night. The relatively small infield is closed to fans.

Contributing: Michelle R. Martinelli

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