- From its Confederate flag ban to the noose incident involving Bubba Wallace, NASCAR has undergone some substantial changes over the past few weeks.
- With all of these events impacting NASCAR, it stands to reason that the racing league will see a shift in its fanbase.
- The team at sportsinsider.com used trends software with direct access to geotagged Twitter data to determine which US states have the most calls to boycott NASCAR.
- Missouri residents produced the most tweets with hashtags like #boycottnascar, #nascarboycott, and more.
- Surprisingly, a number of the states most supportive of a NASCAR boycott are not located in the South.
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NASCAR is undergoing some substantial changes as of late.
Early in June, the premier stock car racing association instituted a total ban on Confederate flags at its events. The move came in the midst of America’s reckoning with the death of George Floyd.
NASCAR’s sweeping decision to ban the Confederate flag came as a shock to many, as the move marks a significant shift from the association’s long history of condoning and, at times, outright supporting the flying of the outdated, racist symbol that serves as a relic of the United States’ original sin.
Then, mere weeks later, NASCAR found a noose in the garage stall of its lone Black driver – Bubba Wallace – prior to the GEICO 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. The discovery came on the heels of some fans protesting NASCAR’s Confederate flag ban by brandishing their flags outside of the track’s gates in protest.
One disgruntled fan even flew a plane toting a Confederate flag and a banner that read “Defund NASCAR” over the Talladega Superspeedway.
Investigations by NASCAR and the FBI revealed that the noose had been in the garage for many months and was not intended as a hate crime against Wallace. Still, the association was strong in its condemnation of hatred. Similarly, Wallace’s opposing NASCAR drivers staged a beautiful display of support for him by pushing his car and standing with him during the national anthem prior to Monday’s GEICO 500.
In both the case of the Confederate flag ban and that of the noose and Wallace, many fans and newcomers to the sport commended NASCAR for taking such a firm stance against racism and bigotry, but others were infuriated by the racing body’s most recent actions. Some fans have even vowed to boycott the league entirely, as they believe NASCAR should refrain from political gestures of any variety.
The team at sportsinsider.com dug into the data to determine which US states are the most passionate about boycotting NASCAR. Using trends software with direct access to geotagged Twitter data, the group found that Missouri residents produced the most tweets with hashtags like #boycottnascar, #nascarboycott, and more that expressed support for a boycott. Arizona came in at number two and Nebraska rounded out the podium.
Somewhat surprisingly, a number of the states most supportive of a NASCAR boycott are not located in the South, where the Confederate flag traces its roots.
Here’s the full boycott NASCAR top 10:
1. Missouri 2. Arizona 3. Nebraska 4. Nevada 5. North Carolina 6. South Carolina 7. Iowa 8. New Mexico 9. Florida 10. Mississippi
And here’s Sports Insider’s map depicting which US states boast the most and least boycott activity:
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- Bomani Jones skewered Will Cain on his own radio show after the ESPN commentator said that the NASCAR Bubba Wallace noose incident would be an ‘impediment to race relations’ in America
- A second noose was found at a NASCAR track, adding more controversy to the association’s reckoning with racism
- NASCAR drivers staged a beautiful display of support for Bubba Wallace – NASCAR’s only Black driver – pushing his car and standing with him during the national anthem after a noose was found in his garage stall
- A plane toting a banner with the Confederate flag and reading ‘defund NASCAR’ flew over the track at Talladega in protest of its ban from all races