TALLADEGA, Al. – A group of peaceful protesters in pickup trucks and on motorcycles – all carrying the rebel battle flag – paraded back and forth on Speedway Boulevard in opposition to NASCAR’s banning of the confederate flag at its events.
The group protest was organized by Charles Burdette of Lincoln, Al. and he said the racing series has received its last dollar from him. The sentiment was the same from the other roughly two-dozen people gathered down from the track after making their first pass.
“Our southern heritage has been pushed to death and we are tired of it,” Burdette told Kickin’ the Tires, as those in the background cheered when passersby honked in support. “NASCAR is going to be a thing of the past. They are taking everything out for what it stands for. It was put together by rednecks, moonshiners and hillbillies”
Burdette said he knows the protest with fall on deaf ears as NASCAR tries to shed the rebel flags and racial division it has seen in the past. The move by the leaders of the sport was met with overwhelming support across the country. Through the years, NASCAR has implemented diversity programs to include all races, as well as, women drivers. Additionally, Bubba Wallace recently drove a Black Lives Matter car at Martinsville Speedway.
“They don’t care but they won’t get no more of my money,” he said.
Two weeks ago, NASCAR released a statement on the now-banned flag, “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. 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.”