The IndyCar Series has fired a flagman after he posted to Facebook that short tracks across the country should pull their NASCAR sanctions after the stock car sanctioning body said it would ban the Confederate flag and also allow peaceful anthem protests.
Brad Hockaday worked as a flagman for IndyCar’s race at Texas on Saturday. He wrote the Facebook post Wednesday night, hours after NASCAR’s Confederate flag ban. It’s since been deleted.
“Now is the time for short tracks round the country to pull their NASCAR sanctions for their recent actions towards America,” Hockaday wrote in the post. “I would not want to be affiliated with a group that doesn’t respect what the American flag stands for. A lot of people have died to make this country what it is by disrespecting the flag of this country is a disgrace. Then removing the Confederate flag. Do those dips—- even understand what that flag stands for. I have lost all respect for NASCAR. I will no longer be supporting their sanction body.”
NBC Sports reported Hockaday’s firing on Thursday. Hockaday’s post had been made public on the IndyCar Subreddit.
An IndyCar spokesperson confirmed to NBC Sports that Brad Hockaday had been relieved of his duties Thursday. The spokesperson said Hockaday was a part-time and seasonal employee who worked in the flag stand for IndyCar’s June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway.
In addition to prohibiting fans from displaying the flag at races, NASCAR has also made the quiet decision to allow protests during the national anthem. That decision was revealed on the crew chief handout before Sunday’s race at Atlanta as a section reminding crew chiefs to have their crews stand at attention during the anthem. Kirk Price, a NASCAR employee who served in the military took a knee during the anthem before the Atlanta race.
Bubba Wallace, the only black driver racing full-time in any of NASCAR’s top three series, said Monday on CNN that he would have gone and taken a knee with Price had he seen him protesting during the anthem.
Wallace’s car owner, Richard Petty, previously spoke out against people protesting during the anthem. He said in 2017 that people who protest during the anthem should leave the country.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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