Skip to main content

Driver Bubba Wallace says "it's time for change" and is calling for NASCAR to ban Confederate flags at races.

During an appearance on CNN Tonight With Don Lemon, Wallace discussed conversations drivers had with NASCAR ahead of the collective video they posted Sunday condemning racism. Lemon then asked what should be racing's next step if it's committed to fighting racial injustice.

"My next step would be to get rid of all Confederate flags," Wallace told Lemon. "No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. So it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here."

After a white gunman opened fire at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., and killed nine people in 2015, NASCAR asked fans to refrain from displaying Confederate flags at races but did not ban them.

SI Recommends

Wallace, 26, said seeing Confederate flags didn't always upset him and he realizes not everyone will agree with his suggestion.

"The narrative on that before is I wasn't bothered by it, but I don't speak for everybody else. I speak for myself. What I am chasing is checkered flags, and that was kind of my narrative.

"But diving more into it and educating myself, people feel uncomfortable with that. People talk about that. That's the first thing they bring up. So there's going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly, but it's time for change."

After Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race in Atlanta, driver Ryan Blaney also suggested removing Confederate flags from races.

"I'd love to not see them at the race track, honestly, because it doesn't make everyone comfortable, so that's kind of where I stand on that. Bring your 50 stars flag. I think that would be way better," Blaney said, per NBC Sports.