A debate broke out on social media Saturday afternoon about the return of sports, stemming from today's NASCAR race. The association is being praised by media members as the first sport to return amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but others strongly disagreed. Retired driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. ultimately brought the debate to an end with a solid response.
The debate truly began when PBR (Professional Bull Riders) CEO Steve Gleason called out every media member that was praising NASCAR ahead of Sunday's race at The Lady in Black. He said that there were already three nationally-televised PBR events that had been completed before The Real Heroes 400. He also said that the UFC had returned before NASCAR. Earnhardt saw these comments and he simply responded by essentially asking, "who cares?"
"I got some buddy's in the PBR. Good people and crazy as hell. But who gives a s—? Let's just get on with it and enjoy a move toward normalcy. PBR was first? Awesome! Let's go racing!" Earnhardt tweeted on Sunday. He didn't care if NASCAR was first or last; he was just happy that more sports are returning.
"The NASCAR versus PBR versus UFC 'who came back first' debate is both meaningless and useless. The goal here is for EVERYONE to come back! And the sooner, the better," one person wrote in response to Earnhardt. Many agreed with this sentiment and proclaimed that they also didn't care about which sport came back first. They were just happy to have live events on their TV screens.
NASCAR has not held a live event since March 8 due to the coronavirus. The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 was postponed first and was soon followed by several other races. The Cup Series season was put on the shelf for 10 weeks and resulted in the postponement of eight races.
Now, however, stock car racing is back. Earnhardt will be able to sit back and watch Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson and their peers drive 400.2 miles on Sunday afternoon during The Real Heroes 400. There will be no fans in attendance at Darlington Raceway, which will be jarring to some viewers. Ultimately, they will accept the lack of cheering in order to watch live sports once again.