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NASCAR has not banned ‘Make America Great Again’ hats or other Trump gear

June 22, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: NASCAR allows a Black Lives Matter-themed car, but won’t allow its audience to wear MAGA hats or other Trump clothing.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The auto racing association has not banned Trump-themed clothing, according to NASCAR spokesman Mike Forde.

THE FACTS: This claim emerged as a piece of satire on June 13, days after NASCAR announced it would ban the Confederate flag from its events and properties. 

Daily World Update, a self-described satire website, published a piece that said NASCAR would no longer allow ‘Make America Great Again’ hats or other political clothing “in order to stem any conflicts resulting from disagreements among ‘politically charged’ attendees.”

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The trouble came when Facebook users began spreading the false claim as real.

Over the last several days, posts claiming NASCAR has instituted a MAGA hat and Trump clothing ban have eclipsed 6 million views and been shared more than 100,000 times on Facebook.

“WOW HOW TO DIG YOUR OWN GRAVE AND JUMP IN : NASCAR HAS NOW BANNED ALL MAGA HATS AND TRUMP CLOTHING !!! JUST WOW,” one post read.

Many other posts claimed NASCAR was hypocritical for allowing its athlete Bubba Wallace to drive a Black Lives Matter-themed car while banning Trump gear.

Federal authorities are currently investigating the discovery of a noose found in Wallace’s Talladega Superspeedway garage, the AP has reported.

But NASCAR spokesman Mike Forde confirmed that beyond the Confederate flag ban, people at NASCAR events are free to wear political clothing as they please.

“There is no ban on maga hats or Trump clothing,” he said in an email.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536