NASCAR bans Confederate flag from its grounds

first_imgThe horrific massacre of nine African Americans — Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Tywanza Sanders, Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Depayne Middleton-Doctor and Myra Thompson — on June 17 by white supremacist Dylann Roof in Charleston, S.C., has triggered an unprecedented anti-racist response to pro-slavery symbols — especially the putrid Confederate flag, which still flies in front of the State House in Columbia.Activists have taken to the streets to remove as well as burn the Confederate flag in protests not just relegated to the Deep South, but virtually around the U.S. They have also painted Confederate statues with the slogan, “Black Lives Matter,” the clarion call of the new phase of the Black Liberation struggle against all forms of terror from police brutality to racist vigilantism.The power of mass protest against the Confederate flag is starting to have a profound impact on popular culture, including in sports. Take NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing), one of the most lucrative, influential professional race car events in the South and the country. The company was founded in Daytona Beach, Fla., in February 1948 by Bill France Sr., who in 1968 commissioned the building of the Alabama International Motor Speedway in Talladega, Ala.France supported the 1968 presidential candidacy of George Wallace, the arch-racist, pro-segregationist Alabama governor. From its inception, NASCAR flew the Confederate flag on its grounds at all its events.Due to the tremendous pressure of the anti-racist struggle, Brian France,  current NASCAR CEO and grandson of its founder, announced June 29 that the Confederate flag will no longer fly during NASCAR events. This is a major development in the sports world, considering that the Confederate flag has been embedded in NASCAR culture since day one.France stated, “We want to go as far as we can to eliminate the presence of that flag. … I personally find it an offensive symbol, so there is no daylight [on] how we feel about it and our sensitivity to others who feel the same way. We’re working with the industry to see how far we can go to get that flag to be disassociated entirely from our events.” (grantland.com, June 29) France also denounced the Confederate flag flying in front of the State House in Columbia, S.C.Dale Earnhardt Jr., whose late father is legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr., agreed with NASCAR’s decision, stating in the same article, “I think it’s offensive to an entire race. It belongs in the history books and that’s about it.”The next step for NASCAR to take is to ban fans from flying their individual Confederate flags in the stands during weekend races. The Daytona International Speedway, which hosts NASCAR’s national races publicly asked their fans on July 2 not to bring Confederate flags to events so they would be more “inclusive.”In a separate action, NASCAR officials denounced the virulently racist, anti-immigrant remarks made by Donald Trump, billionaire and presidential candidate. They also announced that NASCAR will boycott the Trump National Doral Miami resort for its postseason Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity series banquet scheduled for later this year.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

French Croissant firm scoops deal with Marks & Spencer

first_imgSupplier the French Croissant company says it is rolling out an expanded range with Marks & Spencer (M&S), after taking over a £5 million supply contract from Northern Foods.The London-based company started supplying all M&S bakeries and cafés with a range of sweet and butter croissants this summer.It is now introducing a savoury range, starting with a mature Cheddar cheese croissant, head of sales and marketing Eric Balzan told British Baker. He said the M&S account has added £5m to the company’s turnover. French Croissant’s turnover has grown from £15m to £31m in the last five years, he added.”We started talking to M&S last November, before the Northern Foods issues came up, with various parts of its business being put up for sale,” explained Balzan. “We are very proud, it is quite an achievement to supply a customer like that.”last_img read more

Golden Jaguars intensify preparations

first_img… overseas-based players here and readyBy Ras WadadaTHE Golden Jaguars will hold twice-daily sessions today and tomorrow at the Leonora Stadium as they get ready to depart for Suriname to begin their third-round campaign at the weekend.The 22-man squad, which comprises 12 foreign-based players, will be cut to 20 tomorrow after the final training session, which takes place under the watchful eyes of head coach Jamal Shabazz and his assistants Wayne Dover and Andrew Hazel (goalkeeper).Early yesterday morning US-based midfielders Brandon Beresford and Wayne Creavalle as well as Mexico-based Anani Mohamed arrived in the country to join the squad and in the afternoon, they were involved in a tree-wrapping exercise at Camp and Lamaha Streets in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.Chronicle Sport caught up with the trio after the ceremony and got some comments.Brandon Beresford, who plays for the Rochester Rhinos in the USL, was delighted to once again be a part of the Golden Jaguars and sees the upcoming games as crucial, “It has been a positive mood in the camp since I arrived and I am looking forward to the two games which I think will be the 2 biggest games for me as we are close to qualifying for the Gold Cup.“Although I have scored several times for Guyana at the international level and am always looking for an opening to score, this is not my primary task now, but definitely if the opportunity presents itself I will take that chance,”, the 24-year-old stated.Mohamed, who has just signed with Mexican division two side Atalante has also donned the national colours, debuting in 2011 at 19 years and is happy to be back in Guyana for the 3rd time, ”This is a fantastic opportunity, not only for my personal career, but for Guyana’s football. I am happy to finally reunite with the Golden Jaguars.“This is definitely the biggest moment of my career which began in the San Francisco Bay area and I must say we are in a good position to qualify for the Gold Cup for the first time. I am truly honoured to be part of the Jaguars again and look forward to the two games, especially the one against the Reggae Boyz.”First-timer to the Golden Jaguars, Creavalle is a 5-year MLS player with the Philadelphia Union and claims he is fulfilling a dream.“Representing Guyana is something I have always thought about in the past, so being here is like a dream come true. It is a great feeling to be in the country of my Dad’s birth for the first time and I must say I already feel connected. I am eagerly looking forward to the games and hope my experience can add to the team’s performance,” the 26-year-old central midfielder said.last_img read more