Bubba Wallace is the only full-time black driver on the NASCAR circuit and is making his voice heard in the midst of the George Floyd protests. While competing in Atlanta, Wallace wore a shirt that read "I Can't Breathe/Black Lives Matter." And when talking to CNN this week, Wallace revealed he's ready to take his racial and social injustice fight to the next level.
"My next step would be to get rid of all Confederate flags," Wallace said in an interview with CNN on Monday. "No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. So it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them." The Confederate flag has a lot of history since it represented the Southern states in the country including Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Virginia, during the Civil War. Wallace knows that decision won't sit well with a lot of people because of it being part of the Southern culture for over 140 years.
"There's going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly, but it's time for change," he added. "We have to change that, and I encourage NASCAR — we will have those conversations to remove those flags." There's no word on if NASCAR is considering making a rule change to ban Confederate flags. However, Wallace wants NASCAR to start having these conversations because of what's currently going on in the country. As for Wallace's reaction to Floyd's death, he didn't hold back his feelings. "S—'s getting old... hell, it's been old. [What the f—] is gonna change?! [prayer hands emoji]," Wallace wrote on Twitter. Floyd was killed while in the custody of Minneapolis police last month. Wallace knows all about police brutality as he shared a story about his cousin's death which involved an officer.
"He was 18, and they had gone to a gas station here in Knoxville, Tennessee," Wallace said. "[They were] playing loud music, a whole crowd — it was a hangout spot. After football games, we would go to McDonald's right here down the street and all hang out. I had the system in my car, so I was blasting music. But [I] never thought about that I was bothering somebody.
"Well the store clerk, who happened to be white, felt threatened that there was more African Americans and that something bad was going to happen, so she called the cops," Wallace continued. "The police officer had ordered my cousin Sean [sp] to put his hands up, and he did. Then that officer walked away, and he went to grab his phone to call his mom because he was scared and was shot and killed from the other police officer."