Bubba Wallace reaffirmed the rights of NASCAR fans to protest the sport’s ban on the display of the confederate flag. However, he says, unlike those protesting for social justice in the streets, he doesn’t believe the police will be “pepper-spraying them and shooting them with rubber bullets.”
The sport’s lone black full-time driver made the comments which were widely shared on social media, Friday.
“It’s their rights for peaceful protest, my man. It’s a part of it,” Wallace said. “But you won’t see them inside the racetracks where we’re having a good time with the new fans that are purchasing their tickets, purchasing their favorite drivers’ apparel. You won’t see it flying in there.
”It’s exactly what you see on the flip side of everything going on and in cities as they peacefully protest,” he continued. “But you won’t see cops pepper-spraying them and shooting them with rubber bullets, will you?”
Bubba Wallace says people have the right to peacefully protest NASCAR’s ban of the Confederate flag. He adds: “You won’t see cops pepper spraying them and shooting them with rubber bullets, will you?” pic.twitter.com/u1NPqodbyg
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 26, 2020
Rubber bullets and pepper-spray have been used at various times to disperse people rioting in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd.
Bubba Wallace put pressure on NASCAR to forbid the display of the Confederate flag at league events. NASCAR, under pressure from Wallace and amid growing civil unrest in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, agreed to the ban two weeks ago.
This week, controversy began anew when someone mistook a garage pull rope in Wallace’s garage for a noose. At least 15 FBI agents were dispatched to investigate the incident to determine whether a hate crime had been committed. After learning during the course of their investigation that the rope had been in place since October of last year, investigators decided that no hate crime had taken place.
“Wallace’s comments on Friday come as NASCAR fans have already expressed some frustration with the new rule change,” the Hill reports.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn