Whether it was a good idea or not, Donald Trump called for any NFL player that protested The National Anthem to be fired by their team owners. Unfortunately for Trump, the statement completely backfired on him and NFL players protested in mass during Sundays football game coverage. While that was a story all in itself and continued to play out in the most dramatic of ways, the effect of the protests were felt in NASCAR as well.
It started with several team owners, including Richard Petty Motorsports and Richard Childress racing threatening to fire anyone that dared to sit or protest the anthem and only got more coverage from the mainstream media after Dale Earnhardt Jr decided to tweet his own support of the protests on twitter. Interestingly enough, Jr’s tweet came only half an hour after Donald Trump tweeted his displeasure with The NFL protests.
So proud of NASCAR and its supporters and fans Donald Trump said after several Cup Series team owners threatened to fire any driver that protested The National Anthem during Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, “They won’t put up with disrespecting our Country or our Flag – they said it loud and clear!” Half an hour later, Dale JR responded with
“All Americans R granted rights 2 peaceful protests … Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable-JFK.
With that being said and the unfolding nature of this story that combines both sports and politics in a very weird blend, one NASCAR driver and Marine, decided to call out Dale Earnhardt Jr for his comments during an interview with Uptospeedsports.com, and offered a pretty convincing reason for why the protests shouldn’t be allowed in any capacity during the national anthem.
“I feel that Dale Jr has a right to his own opinion but I am against politics in professional sports. Josh White,”The Fighting Marine,” and Camping World Truck Series told us , “.If players want to peacefully protest, then they can peacefully protest. I agree with everything Jr said with one exception, a protest should have nothing to do with a national anthem and it’s ceremonies. If you want to kneel and not pay respects to the country you live in, then I don’t know what to think of you. “
In the end, the drop in ratings during NFL football games last Sunday should be a warning to NASCAR and its drivers that political statements and divisive tactics are not what American viewers want to see and they would be smart to stay as far away from this unfolding train wreck as possible. NASCAR.com has seemingly already started the movement to distance themselves from the controversy by not mentioning Jr’s comments or team owners comments about threatening to fire drivers at all.