Ray Ciccarelli, a part-time driver of the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, commented on NASCAR’s decision in a widely read Facebook post on Wednesday, saying he would not return after the 2020 racing season is over, citing the company’s decision to ban the flag.
“Well, it has been a fun trip and a dream come true, but if this is the direction that Nascar is heading, we will not participate after the 2020 season is over, I do not believe in kneeling under the anthem or taking ppl right to fly whatever flag they love, “Ciccarelli, 50, wrote on Facebook.
He added, “I could care less about the Confederate flag but there are ppl who do and it doesn̵
The post has since been deleted.
Neither Ciccarelli nor his team CMI Motorsports responded to a request for comment from CNN. A PR person previously listed as a contact for CMI said she was no longer with the company. The company’s Twitter account was deleted sometime between Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.
NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from events two days after Bubba Wallace, the only full-time American driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, went on CNN on Monday night and demanded that it be removed.
“Nobody should feel uncomfortable when they get to a NASCAR race. It starts with Confederate flags,” Wallace told CNN’s Don Lemon. “Get them out of here. They have no place for them.”
Wallace competed in a completely black car on Wednesday with the words “#blacklivesmatter” on it, and wore a shirt that said “I Can’t Breathe” on it in honor of George Floyd, the man killed by Minneapolis Police on May 25, who triggered nationwide riots and protests in cities across the United States. Thousands have marched to demand an end to racial discrimination and police brutality.
“The presence of the Confederate flag at NASCAR events is contrary to our commitment to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry,” NASCAR said in a statement ahead of its race Wednesday night in Martinsville, Virginia.
“Uniting people around a love of competition and the community it creates is what makes our fans and sports special. Displaying Confederate Flags will be banned from all NASCAR events and events.”
NASCAR runs three national series – Cup, Xfinity and trucks – and its race in Martinsville was held without fans in the stands due to state restrictions implemented to restrict the spread of Covid-19.
CNN’s Steve Almasy, Jill Martin, Dianne Gallagher and Amir Vera contributed to this report.