Confederate flag needs to disappear from sports, too

A relic from an unlamented past: The Confederate flag flies at Darlington during a 2007 race. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

A relic from an unlamented past: The Confederate flag flies at Darlington during a 2007 race. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Sadly it required a horrific night in Charleston to push the long and tortured debate over the flying of the Confederate battle flag back into the mainstream.

Why this remains an issue 150 years after the end of the Civil War is almost unfathomable. It is a symbol of oppression to too many people in the world to ever be flown. This floor is closed to any further discussion on the matter.

Once the flag is properly removed from any government building, it will be interesting to note how the fans at certain sporting venues – say any Ole Miss tailgate or NASCAR infield – react. I’d like to think there’d be universal repudiation of the flag. But then I’d also like for all of mankind to live in peace. Some things you can’t wish into being. I fear a backlash of ignorance.

Institutionally, both Ole Miss and NASCAR have come out saying the right things. The university renewed its call for the Confederate emblem to be removed from the Mississippi state flag. Both NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. (the Daytona and Talladega owner, along with nine other tracks) issued statements in support of the effort to remove the battle flag from the South Carolina State House.

“ISC will continue our long-standing practice to prohibit the sale of Confederate Flag material on our property,” one of stock car racing’s power companies promised.

In 2012, NASCAR scrapped plans for golfer Bubba Watson to drive his “Dukes of Hazard” car, the General Lee, at one of its events because it features the Confederate flag on its roof.

But it has marginal control over the choices of its fans, admitting as much in its recent statement: “While NASCAR recognizes that freedom of expression is an inherent right of all citizens, we will continue to strive for an inclusive environment at our events.”

The Confederate flag has become much less common at southern tracks, a trend that surely must continue. But, yes, these and other fans do have the right to be narrow and wrong-headed. The less that right is exercised the better for every sport.

Reader Comments 0

163 comments
DawginNY
DawginNY

Way to take a gutsy stand there Steve.  You really showed brave leadership on this issue...you bandwagon-jumping grandstander!  

indianman14
indianman14

I don.t the confederate flag did not have not any thing to do with that in south Carolina

Mustang100
Mustang100

Liberal 'males' are just plain gutless and nutless and afraid to be men because they are afraid of men. So, they let the Feminazis tell them what to think and how to live because it's the only way they can get a woman. providing they actually prefer a woman, that is.

leefrommeeks
leefrommeeks

Steve why don't disappear along with the whole AJC. com. That would help Georgia  a lot.

JAKilgoreBrunswick
JAKilgoreBrunswick

And the South and AJC have been burdened by a Hummer for too long.  Typical liberal nonsense about when someone does not agree with your perverted opinion then you term that "ignorant".  You would think as long as you had been in the South that YOU would have learned that southern heritage and pride in this Region's stand against an oppressive federal government is a tremendous source of pride and we honor those who fought for the original limited federal government design as articulated by our Founders.  To attempt to characterize that struggle as a "race issue" is reprehensible.  To the AJC management - FIRE HUMMER !

Hunk
Hunk

If this issue is being PC driven and I think most people can see through it. After all if we have a situation where we have the Ole Miss Rebels , and George Wallace's Alabama and Auburn's teams with a more recent history of offenses against blacks now loaded with young talented black men. I think deep down that history is history but the hearts of men can change. The Confederate flag for blacks should be an historical item that says "never forget" like the holocaust was to the Jews during WWII. I can agree with moving it from state property because the south lost and yet leaving it as a piece of history for those whose ancestors fought bravely for what they believed in long ago. It is part of our fabric and should be accepted as something that can never be totally removed.

ErksRRTrackDog8
ErksRRTrackDog8

your name most likely was given to you by an early  boyfriend.... who jilted you...your anger albeit misplaced is understandable stevie...but in this case you need to stfu....

RickinWarnerRobins
RickinWarnerRobins

Mr. Hummer, you sir need to disappear and take your Yankee, Carpetbagging, Northern buddies with you. 

7mm08
7mm08

The emacipation proclimation only freed the slaves in the south....there were slaves in the north....Grant and Sherman both owned slaves.....so the flag issue is from from all the revisionist history that has been passed down....it would be best to correct history but the pc's will not allow that....nothing is being said about all the black on black killings or teh fatherless black children which is about 2/3 rds of all black kids...or all teh police officers that are killed by blacks.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@7mm08 


I think plenty is being said by both black and white leaders about felony crimes in impoverished black communities, and about black fathers who abandon their children, including the current president of this country.  Maybe you should pay closer attention to what is actually being said with an open mind.  And where did you get you stats about black fathers and kids?  Please tell us.  And police officers are killed by people of all races, not just those of the black race.  Yet another wow on here.  

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

I'll bet the "journalists" at the AJC get paid a bonus based on how many comments their articles generate.

And I bet most of the "opinions" are motivated by how many people respond, rather than what the writer really believes.  I've read that several of writers and directors of FOX news are actually liberal democrats and vice-verse at CNBC.  

It's all about the $$$.  Very little else.

Ihateorange
Ihateorange

Steve are you a voter or taxpayer in South Carolina ?  No ?  Well then your opinion is not needed.  Go find something else to complain about....

patriotdog
patriotdog

This article belongs on Op-Ed.

Having it in Sports is akin to going to a concert and having the musician rant about their political views.

Ihateorange
Ihateorange

@patriotdog  Steve is an idiot and is just looking (like all the other national inquirer people who call themselves "journalists" trying to create and ride a wave to get people to "look at me").

patriotdog
patriotdog

So should free healthcare, cellphones and any other welfare benefits paid to those who CAN work but just don't WANT to work.

GT71
GT71

Many things in America today need to 'disappear' before the battle flag of the Confederacy.

Among them, the AJC website.  Just to mention the easiest.


Bogan
Bogan

I know a girl named Dixie.  Should she change her name?

Ihateorange
Ihateorange

@Bogan  And don't forget Stonewalls BBQ in Braselton - and get the wrecking ball out for all the statues scattered around the south.  And heaven forbid - get the dynamite out so we can blow up stone mountain - how dare they put confederate generals on the side of it !

SportsTopFan
SportsTopFan

TOP elite African-American Southeastern Conference (SEC) recruits should consider the Confederate Flag when choosing what team to play for  !!!


Mississippi State, South Carolina and other SEC teams for example have a lot of Top Elite athletes on their sports teams but the Confederate Flag still fly high.


THANKS, THANKS, THANKS  Alabama Governor Robert J. Bentley for your stand in issuing an Executive Order to remove the Confederate Flag from the State Capitol.


We STRONGLY urge Governors in other Southeastern Conference (SEC) States to follow suit ASAP.

Ihateorange
Ihateorange

@SportsTopFan  Nobody cares what you think....  and obviously the black players don't either as that has not stopped or slowed down where they went to school....

Dman
Dman

Can someone please explain to me what the confederate flag has to do with what happened in Charleston?

doolie1
doolie1

@Dman  The same thing that all the murders last year in Chicago do with the American flag! The same thing Lee Boyd Malvo who killed 10 people in the beltway in 2002(and was also driven by racism and who didn't get the death penalty) does with a flag....none

Ihateorange
Ihateorange

@Dman  Nothing, just an excuse to try to hype something up and create controversy for the media.  They cant stand it when there is nothing going on that they cant yell about and try to get web hits.

jquick5342
jquick5342

So should rap music, droopy pants and the sense of entitlement

gt1995
gt1995

One of the first lessons learned about dealing with people is that when one person/group aggressively tries to influence or force another person/group to do something there will inevitably be conflict. Sadly, the aggressor typically responds with more aggression and the conflict escalates.


That is what is happening with the Confederate flag.


What happened in Charleston is a tragedy. However, that horrific event should not be used to push any political agenda, because there is nothing that politicians can do to heal the situation or could have done to prevent the situation. That tragedy happened not because of the Confederate flag. That tragedy happened not because there was a lack of gun control. That tragedy happened because of the evil and hate in the man's heart. Period.


For the record, I am not supporting either the flying or the removal of the Confederate flag. Rather, simply stating that these protestors, who are doing nothing more than taking advantage of a tragic event, are being self serving and making a difficult situation worse.



TampGator1
TampGator1

@gt1995 


How about this. Based on your thinking, it must be OK for some people to fly the Nazi flag in Germany and, in particular, fly it in Hebrew communities there and around the world.  After all, what Hitler did had nothing to do with the flag he and his army flew, right? Confederate symbols represent a government and a region that defended slavery as a justifiable way of life.  It wasn't then and it isn't today.  If you are a black American, it represents a time period when slavery and abuse of blacks reigned, and the confederate flag continues to represent the kind of oppression that hate and evil always promotes, be it a lone shooter in Charleston or a group promoting white supremacy in the streets of America (what flag does that hate group always wave in front of the media by the way?).  

TampGator1
TampGator1

@doolie1


A little more study would obviously do you some good.  The Northern and Southern sections of the United States developed along different lines. The South remained a predominantly agrarian economy while the North became more and more industrialized. Different social cultures and political beliefs developed. All of this led to disagreements on issues such as taxes, tariffs and internal improvements as well as states rights versus federal rights. The burning issue that led to the disruption of the union, however, was the debate over the future of slavery. That dispute led to secession, and secession brought about a war in which the Northern and Western states and territories fought to preserve the Union, and the South fought to establish Southern independence as a new confederation of states under its own constitution. And, please, give me one example in history where Native Americans have protested the American flag as a symbol or hate and racism.  And, yes, Native Americans did, have, and are still experiencing both. 

Ihateorange
Ihateorange

@gt1995  Just like the animal rights groups jumped all over the Mike Vick thing to try to squeeze more donations....  its all about money - nothing more, nothing less.

Ihateorange
Ihateorange

@TampGator1 @gt1995  What flag murdered, raped and stole the land of the Indians ?  By your logic the American flag needs to go as well.  Bring it down now !

RMarietta
RMarietta

@TampGator1 @gt1995

Hilter designed the Flag..... It was not a German flag.... it was the Nazi party flag....The Confederates did not attempt to exterminate the race., hardly the same thing.... we did much worse to the Native Americans (Indians), shall we remove Presidents Grant's picture from the $50 bill?....  I'm offended by lots of things... grow up folks--- most people use symbols for an excuse for poor behavior... and grow up America......

TampGator1
TampGator1

@RMarietta


You think what the US did to native Americans if "much worse" than what Hitler did to the Jews in Europe?  Wow.  And the logic of the rest of your post is a "wow" as well....and totally missing the point of my posts. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@Ihateorange 


What happened to the native Americans was and is horrible, but associating the current American flag and what it represents with what the Confederate flag represents today is illogical at the extreme.  But that is how most people who support the flying of the Confederate flag on state properties think.....or don't think.   

TampGator1
TampGator1

@gt1995


I just honestly see, without bias, what the Confederate flag represents in a very negative way to so many black Americans in this country. Fly the flag on your car and on your own property all you want.  But that flag needs to come down from any government owned property unless that government supports what that flag represents to black Americans in this country.  Maybe the SC government and the majority of the people there support just that.  Would not surprise me based on my experiences there.    

TampGator1
TampGator1

@RMarietta


"Hardly the same thing"............Sort of like your response to the meaning of my posts.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@Ihateorange


Seriously.....really.  Double wow.  No, triple wow.  And I think a lot more people were extremely offended by what Vick did than just animal rights groups, including the administrations of the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons.....and the legal system that sent him to jail for his extremely cruel and inhumane actions......just like the southern white plantation owners in relationship to their slaves when that confederate flag flew over their state, I guess. 

gt1995
gt1995

@TampGator1 @doolie1 Sadly, you are doing exactly what my comment railed against... You are using a tragic situation to push your opinion.


I do not support flying the Confederate flag. I however also do not believe it had anything to do with the tragedy in Charleston. Taking that flag down would not have prevented this or will prevent any future tragedy.


We are already seeing the Confederate flag and it's influence dwindle. It will fade away, out of the public sphere it's own time, remaining only in history books and the memories of families who had ancestors fight and possibly die under that flag. Sadly, that isn't fast enough for you so rather than patience, you force an issue and make tensions worse.



doolie1
doolie1

@TampGator1 @gt1995  ALL slaves were imported into the USA under either colonialism(of the English) or the US flag. The Civil War wasn't fought over slavery or Lincoln wouldn't have waited several years into the war to free the slaves. No Confederate ship ever brought a slave to the US. New Jersey still had slaves until the end of the civil war. The former confederates never gave the KKK or anyone else approval to use its symbol as theirs. The USA also waged genocide against the American Indians(they aren't native to north America). So isn't the American flag as racist since they also had slaves and slaves were imported into the US under that flag??

almmanduane75
almmanduane75

If it's good enough for some to bury the CF, then it's equally good for others to stop living in the past and still believe this is Selma in 65.


Think about it.


                                                 "Pants Up"  "Don't Loot" 

ShootinTheHooch
ShootinTheHooch

It's past time for the Stars and Bars to go. It wasn't that long ago that Roy Barnes lost an election for a second term as Governor because he insisted on having the symbol of the Confederacy removed from the Georgia flag.

It also wasn't that long ago that you could purchase a vanity tag that said, "Hell No, I Ain't Forgit'n." 


Folks, it's time to forget! This is coming from a guy who used to shed a tear when the rebels lost in GWTW and Dixie would make my chest swell with pride. 


Enough is enough. It's time for unity rather than separation and love rather than fear.

ElStinko
ElStinko

i still dont know why the CF makes the blacks feel bad but every black rapper can use the word Negger.  Yes i know its is spelled wrong but it wont post if spelled correctly.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Hey Everybody!........what you all talking about?

TOJacket
TOJacket

@DawgNole @TOJacket God, you have to be a woman?.............no man would go on and on about another mans blog handle........I appreciate your concern, but you're creeping me out.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket @DawgNole

Damn, what is it you have against women?!

Is there something you're not telling us here--besides why you can't make up your mind about something as earth shattering as a blog handle?

TOJacket
TOJacket

@DawgNole OK, here you are......if I use my other handle the post won't register.........so after speaking with the IT folks at the AJC......I started using this one again.........not that it's any of your business, and I love women.....I just don't care for men who act like them. I hope that will answer your never ending question.....Jesus Christ!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket @DawgNole 

Your other handle?! Which other handle? You have several, you know. So none of them work anymore except this one??

"The post won't register." Did IT tell you why? Pretty lame on their part, which is no surprise--given their performance with this horrendous website.

No, it isn't my business, but what's the big deal? Why act ashamed/evasive about it?

Glad to hear you like women. You a Bruce Jenner fan?