Tha Sports Junkies 101

NASCAR Fans, Owners React to National Anthem Controversy

Photo by Andy Haywood via Flickr


Disclaimer: The views in this article, whether expressed or implied, are not a representation of TSJ, it’s employees, agents or owners. Opinions and thoughts are my own. 

Most notably in professional football and other sports, recent protests of the National Anthem have caused much controversy. As a result, many in NASCAR have been vocal about this tradition. Fan reaction via Twitter, as well as team owners releasing statements, has sent a powerful message. NASCAR nation is siding with President Trump on saluting the flag and anthem.

Team Owner’s Comments

After Sunday’s ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, some team owners had strong opinions. Richard Petty said “Anybody that don’t stand up for that ought to be out of the country. Period. If they don’t appreciate where they’re at … what got them where they’re at? The United States.” Petty, 80, is the owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, who fields the 43 car for Aric Almirola.

Richard Childress, owner of Richard Childress Racing, also commented on Sunday. “Anyone who works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people have given their lives for it. This is America.” Richard Childress Racing currently has 2 cars in the Playoffs.

Statement from NASCAR

NASCAR released an official statement regarding this controversy. “Sports are a unifying influence in our society, bringing people of differing backgrounds and beliefs together. Our respect for the national anthem has always been a hallmark of our pre-race events. Thanks to the sacrifices of many, we live in a country of unparalleled freedoms and countless liberties, including the right to peacefully express one’s opinion.”

In addition, President Trump himself commented about NASCAR in a tweet. On Monday morning he tweeted “So proud of NASCAR and its supporters and fans. They won’t put up with disrespecting our Country or our Flag – they said it loud and clear!”

There were no anthem protests from anyone on pit road at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday. The views shown by Petty and Childress are mirrored by many fans across NASCAR. Standing for the National Anthem has become a recent political issue due to comments President Trump made in Alabama. As a result, dozens of professional football players protested the National Anthem on Sunday.

In short, many NASCAR owners have threatened to fire any drivers or crew members who protest the National Anthem. NASCAR prides itself on deeply patriotic and prideful events for God and country. Traditions such as the pre-race prayer and singing of the National Anthem are staples of NASCAR Racing. Neither act of respect appears to be going away anytime soon.