Update: NASCAR tweeted a statement Monday afternoon, Sept. 25, concerning its position on nationwide protests during the national anthem and comments made by a few of its owners, drivers and even President Donald Trump.
NASCAR statement pic.twitter.com/Sme0Gjww5e
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 25, 2017
President Donald Trump and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rocked the Twitter world Monday morning with their views on the national anthem controversy.
Trump, who claimed Friday night NFL owners should fire players that protest the anthem, acknowledged what he felt was NASCAR’s support on the issue.
Trump was likely referencing articles by USA Today and The Hill, among others, where select owners said they wouldn’t tolerate kneeling for the anthem. Richard Petty and Richard Childress were among those most vocal about the controversy.
“Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country. Period,” Petty first told the Associated Press. “What got ’em where they’re at? The United States.”
“Anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in,” added Childress. “So many people gave their lives for it.” The owner added crew members should “get on a Greyhound bus” if they were thinking of protesting.
While not all owners necessarily outwardly agreed, the impression was given that NASCAR protesters would be fired from their jobs. The sentiment was then applauded by Trump, as he saw all NASCAR drivers and crew stand in solidarity for the anthem at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
NASCAR’s decision was in direct contrast to the NFL, NBA, and other stick-and-ball sports that spurred protests both on and off the field Sunday. Dozens of NFL players knelt while NBA stars like LeBron James and Stephen Curry have spoken out against the president’s views.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b***h off the field right now,” Trump said at an Alabama rally Friday night. “Out! He’s fired. He’s fired! And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
Trump’s tweet also seems to be at odds with NASCAR’s most popular driver. While Earnhardt stood for the pre-race anthem, he sent a tweet this morning intended to give respect toward those who felt differently.
All Americans R granted rights 2 peaceful protests
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable-JFK
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) September 25, 2017
NASCAR CEO Brian France did not go on the record with the issue Sunday. But France was open in his 2016 support of Trump, along with several prominent NASCAR drivers.