The NASCAR Truck series driver who announced he was quitting the sport following the Confederate flag decision has shared the reaction to his decision.
Ray Ciccarelli, who announced on Facebook that he is walking away from the sport after this season, said his family has been "attacked" and "abused" over his decision.
The driver competed in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series this weekend. He finished in 29th place.
Following the race, Ciccarelli shared what his family has been going through since he announced his decision.
“I wasn’t raised the way people are portraying me to be. That’s just not me,” Ciccarelli told TobyChristie.com. “I am not that type of person. Just the attack — my wife, my family have been attacked and abused on social media. It’s just heartbreaking.”
The NASCAR driver added that he wasn't "defending" the Confederate flag, but said he doesn't regret what he wrote on Facebook. His social media page has been deleted.
“I guess I was just sitting there. 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. It just kind of triggered me, because we’re being told you can’t kneel, now you can kneel. It just set me off.
“We’re told one thing that we can’t do, then you’re told you can do,” Ciccarelli added. “Just to go back, about two years during the [Colin] Kaepernick deal, NASCAR did release a statement stating that team owners should take action to any teammates that decide to kneel during the national anthem. It was not going to be condoned what-so-ever.”
Ciccarelli ended by saying he's not sure if he'll actually leave the sport following the 2020 season.