‘Defund NASCAR:’ Confederate flag flies above Talladega Superspeedway

‘Defund NASCAR:’ Confederate flag flies above Talladega Superspeedway
A plane trails a banner proclaiming Defund NASCAR near Talladega Superspeedway prior to a NASCAR Cup Series auto race in Talladega Ala., Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

TALLADEGA, Ala. — Less than two weeks after NASCAR announced it would ban the Confederate flag from its races and properties, a Confederate flag was seen flying above the Talladega Superspeedway ahead of a race on Sunday.

The flag and an accompanying message, “Defund NASCAR,” were not affiliated with the organization. It’s unclear who sponsored the aerial advertising.

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The phrase references recent demands from Americans who are calling for police departments across the country to be defunded. Defunding the police generally means decreasing the amount of government funds given to police departments and reallocating them to other government programs and initiatives, like social services.

Although the NASCAR organization said it would not post the flag anywhere, that policy does not mean fans cannot and will not fly the flag outside of facilities.

According to The New York Times, numerous cars on a street near the speedway supported Confederate flags.

Signs that reminded fans of the flag ban were reportedly posted near entrances to the speedway.

Sunday’s race at Talladega is the first NASCAR event to welcome thousands of fans since the coronavirus outbreak pushed many state leaders to institute stay-at-home orders. Up to 5,000 people were allowed to attend.

Alabama is currently in phase two of reopening.