Is NASCAR right to ban the General Lee, or overreacting?
By Tom Weir, USA TODAY
When the Dukes of Hazzard was on TV from 1979-85 virtually every episode featured a chase scene of some sort with the show’s trademark car, the General Lee. But now NASCAR has ruled the famous Dodge Charger shouldn’t be seen at any of its races.
Pro golfer Bubba Watson purchased the original General Lee at auction recently, and had been scheduled to drive it on the parade lap before the March 4 Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. But NASCAR has rescinded the invite, because of the car’s roof has a replica of the Confederate flag, which some fans might consider offensive.
"The image of the Confederate flag is not something that should play an official role in our sport as we continue to reach out to new fans and make NASCAR more inclusive," NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said in a statement today.
But as anyone who has ever attended a NASCAR event knows, Confederate flags can be seen on many cars and elsewhere in the virtual cities of RVs and campers that surround NASCAR tracks.
And it’s not as if a comedy show that constantly made fun of characters Jefferson Davis "Boss" Hogg and the bumbling county sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane is an enduring symbol of racism.
So, is NASCAR exhibiting good judgment and sensitivity, or is it guilty of overreacting and ruining a fun moment?