Change is happening.
While not an NFL story, significant reforms made by other sports are relevant to the NFL, because it’s an example of the kind of extreme measures the NFL should also consider. And NASCAR has implemented a very extreme measure on Wednesday by banning the confederate 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,” NASCAR said in a statement. “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.”
The move will be controversial, but it shouldn’t be. The confederate flag is a symbol both of slavery and the rebellion against the United States launched by those who insisted on preserving it. It’s not a symbol of culture or history or anything other than an inherent hatred of what America stands for and a reminder of an effort to tear the nation apart the killed thousands.
Whether and to what extent NASCAR is willing to take aggressive measures to implement the rule could get interesting if not ugly. But NASCAR is doing the right thing. The confederate flag had no place in America before the murder of George Floyd. Given the overdue awakening that his death has sparked, it’s time for everyone to regard the confederate flag for what it is, and for what it always has been.