Last Friday, President Trump told a crowd in Alabama that NFL team owners should fire players who protest the national anthem. Immediately afterward, multiple NASCAR owners came out in support of President Trump and said they would fire any employee who disrespects the anthem.
While the majority of NASCAR owners support President Trump, NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. has turned his back on the American people and is siding with protesting football players. “All Americans R granted rights 2 peaceful protests Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable-JFK,” Earnhardt wrote on Twitter, quoting former President Kennedy.
President Trump reiterated his concerns following Sunday’s NFL games. “Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!” The president tweeted.
Multiple NASCAR owners came out in support of President Trump and said they would fire employees who disrespect the flag or the national anthem.
“Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta’ be out of the country, period,” explained Richard Petty, NASCAR champion, and owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, according to Breitbart. “What got ’em where they’re at? The United States.” He added that any Richard Petty Motorsports employee caught protesting the national anthem will be fired.
Richard Childress, owner of Richard Childress Racing, agreed with his fellow NASCAR owner and came out in support of President Trump.
Protest the anthem will “get you a ride on a Greyhound bus,” Childress charged. “Anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America.”
In a later tweet replying to a fan, Earnhardt explained that he felt compelled to wade into these fraught political waters since other NASCAR owners have already voiced their opinions on this issue. “Dale. Please please be careful where you step on this. This is a very complex minefield,” the fan warned. “I agree. But some team owners spoke on this,” replied Dale.
“You do not want to be leading the pack on this. You really do not.” Earnhardt’s fan warned, adding “The politicization of sports has only made things worse.”
NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. has turned his back on the American people and is siding with protesting football players. Will he suffer backlash for this position?
The national anthem protest debate is dividing sports fans across the country. Many fans express disappointment in the NFL for allowing their players to protest the national anthem. For decades the NFL has attempted to cultivate the image as dyed-in-the-wool American, yet when players started disrespecting the American flag, the NFL refused to step in.
While President Trump relied on harsh language to express himself, he never once suggested that players should be blocked from exercising their First Amendment rights. Instead, he suggested that fans and owners exercise their own rights by boycotting games and firing players who degrade the image of the NFL.
Ultimately, the majority of fans are just upset that sports have become inseparable from politics. Sports used to unite people around a common team or just the love of the game, but now, watching ESPN is just as dividing as CNN.