NASCAR is proving they are in a league of their own, as owners of the auto-racing sports event are siding with the president.
In a move that swerves from the choices most of the sport’s franchise owners and professional league have made, multiple NASCAR team owners made it clear on Sunday that they will not tolerate any kind of national anthem protests at their events.
According to USA Today, NASCAR team owner and retired record-tying champion driver, Richard Petty said at the ISM Connect 300 in New Hampshire that if nobody stands up, they “ought to be out of the country.”
“If they don’t appreciate where they’re at… what got them where they’re at? The United States,” he said, adding they would be automatically fired.
Fellow team owner Richard Childress said he informed his employees a protest would get them “a ride on the Greyhound bus when the national anthem is over.”
“I told them anyone who works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people have gave their lives for it. This is America.”
Social media was up in arms, with many not surprised considering NASCAR is not known to be diverse, with many of its fans frequently showcasing the Confederate flag, a symbol of oppression in the African-American community.
Some even argued the protests that Donald Trump is enraged about is not even about the flag, but more so about racial injustice towards those of the black community.
1) not surprising 2) considering their demographic and employee base, I'm not sure this is even close to being an issue for them. https://t.co/tiSw0ogCPM— wayne (@fergnerduson) September 24, 2017
Serious Q: How many black drivers/crew members are in NASCAR? These protests are about racial injustice, not the flag or anthem. https://t.co/3KYusj7kX5— Mary Beth Schneider (@marybschneider) September 24, 2017
Majority black sports vs. majority white sports... Yes, it's a united country, indeed. https://t.co/fgVEHDTBn5— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) September 24, 2017
NASCAR--a sport that grew out of evading the police--is going to come down on racers who protest the police? Got it.— Brandon Bird (@Brandon_Bird) September 24, 2017
Photo credit: Twitter / @nbc4