NASCAR Truck Series driver Ray Ciccarelli sparked a lot of attention online with comments he made on a personal Facebook page about his driving career.
Ciccarelli announced he would quit racing after the 2020 season following NASCAR’s ban of Confederate flags from all events.
“Well its been a fun ride and dream come true but if this is the direction NASCAR is headed we will not participate after the 2020 season is over,” Ciccarelli wrote.
Ciccarelli received plenty of backlash online for his comments, and deleted his Twitter and Facebook accounts as a result. In an interview with Toby Christie, Ciccarelli explained why he sent that post and detailed the reaction it caused from people.
In the interview, Ciccarelli said his actual viewpoints were misrepresented. He also claims he wasn’t supporting the Confederate flag.
“I don’t like the fact that I was misconstrued about defending the Confederate flag. Because in no way shape or form was I defending the Confederate flag,” Ciccarelli told Toby Christie. “Everything I was saying was the fact that I understand both sides’ feelings toward the flag. My viewpoint, all I was trying to say is how do you take (the flag) from one group and help support the group that it offends and then what do you do to the group that you took it from? Now, they get outraged.”
Despite saying his wife and family “have been attacked and abused on social media,” Ciccarelli said he doesn’t regret hitting send on his post. He just wishes his point came across differently.
“I feel everybody has a right to their opinion. And that was my opinion,” Ciccarelli said. “I believe people can kneel, and protest and do what they love and support and all that. I wasn’t trying to offend anybody. That’s not something that I wanted to do in any shape or form.”
As for if he’ll actually follow through with giving up racing, Ciccarelli wasn’t as adament about that in this interview. He responded with “TBA,” short for “to be announced.”