TMZ Sports – 50-year-old [NASCAR Truck driver Ray Ciccarelli] gave a lengthy interview to TobyChristie.com shortly after his infamous Facebook post … saying he believes all of his comments were “misconstrued.”
“In no way shape or form was I defending the Confederate flag,” he said. “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.”
Ray says his comments on kneeling during the national anthem were also twisted a bit … saying he has NO issue with protestors there as well.
Ciccarelli claims he just has a problem with NASCAR implementing rules on both matters “out of left field.”
“I had seen the news thing come through referring to, NASCAR now allows you to kneel during the anthem, It just irritated me some,” Ciccarelli said. “I believe in standing for the national anthem, and I believe that if you want to kneel during the anthem, you should kneel.”
In case you weren’t properly sympathizing with the guy who said he’d quit NASCAR over their Confederate flag ban, Ray Ciccarelli also offers this bit of a plea for sympathy in the interview:
“My wife, my family have been attacked and abused on social media. It’s just heartbreaking.”
And honestly, I get it. People are the worst online with how they spout off at the mouth without any concern as to who’s on the other side. Kind of like when a no-name truck driver feels the need to take his Confederate flag and go home because NASCAR wants to finally stop overtly offending a large portion of the population. But yes, let’s all take a moment to look at ourselves because the guy who wants access to the flag that symbolizes racism and terroristic violence against multiple groups, including the entire North of the United States, is a little overwhelmed by it. The collective desire for material change certainly pales in comparison to Ray Ciccarelli’s hurt fee-fees over some Mean Tweets.
The thing that’s really thrown me for a loop about this whole Ray Ciccarelli “controversy” is how it even exists in the first place. This isn’t Jeff Gordon or Dale Earnhardt Jr., someone who’s spent decades in the limelight in NASCAR and maybe has some previous generation’s views. It isn’t a modern star like Martin Truex or Kyle Busch or someone who doesn’t know better. It’s not even a guy who’s tearing up the Xfinity races below the main series with some misguided views to freak out over. It’s a guy who’s winless in the equivalent of NASCAR AA ball who put up a shitty Facebook post. And now he’s some sort of lightning rod for people who find him emblematic of Southern racism while he’s gaining folk hero status for a whole other group of idiots.
For as absurd as it is and worth commenting on as a result, let’s get back to some real issues. Like … are we also out on the Dukes of Hazzard? I don’t recall about them anything other than Jessica Simpson’s bikini scene in the reboot movie version with Johnny Knoxville but those dudes LOVED the Confederate flag. But they also seemed to love justice. And badass car tricks.
They’ve at least got a more viable case to avoid being canceled than Ray Ciccarelli IMO.
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