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Mississippi's state flag is the only one in the U.S. to include the Confederate battle flag. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

The NCAA will no longer hold championship events in Mississippi, due to the Confederate symbol's "prominent presence" in the state flag, the association announced Friday.

The big picture: The NCAA's decision expands its 2001 rule on the Confederate flag, which banned states from hosting events like the the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament, but granted exceptions to teams based on tournament seeding or ranking, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: NASCAR announced last week that it will ban the display of the Confederate flag at all of its events and properties.

  • SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey warned on Thursday that, "It is past time for change to be made to the flag of the State of Mississippi. Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcoming to all."

What they're saying: “There is no place in college athletics or the world for symbols or acts of discrimination and oppression,” Michael Drake, chair of the NCAA board and Ohio State University president, said in a statement.

  • “We must continually evaluate ways to protect and enhance the championship experience for college athletes. Expanding the Confederate flag policy to all championships is an important step by the NCAA to further provide a quality experience for all participants and fans," Drake added.

Go deeper: Confederate monuments become flashpoints in protests against racism

Go deeper

Aug 14, 2020 - Sports

NCAA postpones Division I fall championships

Photo: G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

The NCAA announced Thursday that it has postponed Division I fall championships as individual conferences cancel their seasons due to concerns tied to the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Universities have tried to find ways to safely move forward with fall sports, a major source of revenue for schools. Fall championships for Division II and III were already put on hold.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
41 mins ago - Economy & Business

The winners and losers of the pandemic holiday season

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.

The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.

Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The daily rate of new coronavirus infections rose by about 10 percent in the final week before Thanksgiving, continuing a dismal trend that may get even worse in the weeks to come.

Why it matters: Travel and large holiday celebrations are most dangerous in places where the virus is spreading widely — and right now, that includes the entire U.S.