Last year, NASCAR publicly condemned North Carolina’s hateful, homophobic HB2. That was something of a surprise, given the organization’s stereotypically straight, white, conservative fan base.
But while NASCAR itself might be uncomfortable with homophobia, NASCAR team owners are totally okay with racism. Over the weekend, several of them expressed solidarity with Donald Trump, making it clear that team members who protest police brutality against communities of color by kneeling during the national anthem will be kicked to the curb:
Former NASCAR champion Richard Petty told the AP that any member of his team would be fired if they chose to protest the national anthem. Petty now owns Richard Petty Motorsports.
“Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country. Period. What got ’em where they’re at? The United States,” Petty said in comments reported by the AP.
Richard Childress, a former drive [sic] who owns Richard Childress Racing, said any protests from his team members would “get you a ride on a Greyhound bus.”
“Anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America,” Childress reportedly said.
Side note: Maybe Trump is truly passionate about the national anthem. Then again, maybe he launched this NFL kerfuffle to invigorate his shrinking base and distract the public from another looming GOP defeat on healthcare reform.