When Pro-Golfer Bubba Watson bought the 1969 Dodge Charger known as the “General Lee” for 110,000 a few years ago he never assumed it would be the center of controversy that it is right now. Watson wanted to drive it on the parade lap before the Subway Fresh Fit 500.
But NASCAR had a problem with the giant Confederate flag painted on the roof of the car and told him that it wasn’t going to happen.
NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said,
“The image of the Confederate flag is not something that should play an official role in our sport as we continue to reach out to new fans and make NASCAR more inclusive,”
As could be expected NASCAR is taking some flak from its traditional fan base. Those fans say the confederate flag is not a sign of racism or slavery but a part of their southern heritage. Fans outside of the press conference told reporters,
“It makes me want to vomit.”
“This isn’t America. It’s Communist Russia.”
“Just one more example of NASCAR abandoning its traditional fans. Bill France Sr. is rolling over in his grave.”
“It is a disgraceful and gratuitous insult to a lot of very decent people. It is prejudicial toward those good-hearted folks, who, like Uncle Jesse Duke, are in fact, ‘never meaning’ no harm.’ ”
These are just a smattering of examples that were posted on NASCAR’s site in reference to the General Lee. While it may be true that the vast majority of people agree that the confederate flag is not a symbol of racism and hatred, most do not agree that even without that intent the flag has become a symbol of hatred and intolerance.
Do you agree with NASCAR that there is no reason to include a giant confederate flag during it’s performance?