NASCAR Releases Official Statement on Anthem Protests

LOUDON, NH - SEPTEMBER 24: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Caramel Toyota, leads the field at the start of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 24, 2017 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Dale Earnhardt Jr during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  Photo courtesy of NASCAR.

NASCAR released an official statement Monday regarding the protests being held nationwide at the start of many major sporting events while the national anthem plays, most prominently NFL games.

These protests involve players taking a knee during the anthem to acknowledge racial injustice, and players linking arms to show solidarity.

From NASCAR, “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.”

The statement followed a weekend of controversy as several NASCAR team owners indicated that their drivers and crew would face repercussions if they took part in the protests, seeing them as expressions of disrespectful to the country and the flag.  These statements were given support on social media by President Trump, who decried the NFL and NFL owners positions, praising the NASCAR owners and drivers who rejected the protests.

The owners’ statements and Trump’s response were followed by a tweet from Dale Earnhardt Jr supporting peaceful protest:

Richard Petty took the opposite stand, according to USA Today. “Anybody that don’t stand up for that ought to be out of the country. Period,” Petty said, according to USA Today. “If they don’t appreciate where they’re at . . . what got them where they’re at? The United States.”

About Andreanna Ditton 87 Articles
Andreanna Ditton is the Content Manager for MotorHead Media and the Editor-in-Chief for RacingJunk.com/news. She's been working in the automotive publishing industry since 2007 focusing on racing and performance for motorcycles and cars.
  • Bruce Hevner

    NASCAR (as well as the NFL) is not a “sport” any more. They are BIG corporations and those participating are EMPLOYEES. I have no problem with those EMPLOYEES expressing their views ON THEIR OWN TIME. The race track or the football field is NOT the place for it! We PAY MONEY to watch you perform,,, NOT to hear (or view) your political protests!
    What do you think your boss would say if you asked for company time to express your political view?? I know what I would say,,,”Well here’s the thing,,,NO,, GET BACK TO WORK”
    But HEY,,, that’s just ME!!!

  • Robert

    I agree with Bruce, there is a time and a place for peaceful demonstrations but it is not on work time. They have the money to organize all the demonstrations they want so why waste the Paying customers time on their protest when they should be like the rest of working Americans, Working.

  • JR

    Although I believe it to be true what Dale Jr quoted from JFK, I also believe there is no place for personal opinion in the work place! Many fans support many different kinds of activities whether sports related or not. Most of us are at the mercy of what our TV provider provides us and at a premium price unless we can afford to see it in person. Either way we follow our passion. We do not have any choice but to put up with all the media’s programming or turn the TV off and miss the event we pay our hard earned money to see. I personally am sick about all the negativity coming from our media, they are the ones responcible for promoting all the hate messaging! When I’m watching late night or news that offends me I turn off the TV and get pissed that I am paying to hear and see it.
    Why doesn’t the media give equal time and exposure to the other opinions out there that would counter all the hate and bias thoughts.
    Why aren’t the camera persons instructed to not film or the editors instructed not to allow this to be broadcasted and make matters worse.
    If you have a beef with this country or you have a beef with every person bitching about this country organize a peaceful protest on your own time, NOT MINE!
    I am an American born and raised here and am proud of all veterans who have served and sacrificed as well as their families.
    For all like minded viewers and listeners I can only offer one tip:
    DVR all your favorite shows and fast forward through all the negativity the media is showing you until something is done about having persons protesting during work hours!
    JR

  • Stanton Giles

    My question is this: who decides when there is no longer social injustice? In my opinion its so subjective that there will always be someone who isn’t happy with something. Something has been started that will never end.

  • Robert Harrison

    America (and the flag) LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT !

  • Cobranut

    And THAT, folks, is why Richard Petty is still the most popular NASCAR driver of all time!

  • Norris Lurker

    I do not live in America however there appears to be a world wide media trend to
    concentrate news on negativity; the more negative, controversial and gory the better.
    Look at news readers, they may as well have wooden muppets with hand manipulated jaws with a voice over. Hairstyles, makeup, fashion its all unreal and does not relate to the average working class person. These high salaried readers, producers and owners are responsible for stimulating unnecessary descrimination, untrust and dissent. Democratic nations are being taken over by small groups with nasty agendas, the latest ‘knee’ protests and the continual criticism of Trump proves this. These people have the right to protest as individuals or groups without affecting thepersons paying them their exhorbitent salaries.

  • Cobranut

    ANYONE, no matter what nationality, ethnicity, or religion, who refuses to stand with their hand over their heart for our national anthem should be immediately and permanently deported. If you want to visit or live in this great country, you can show some basic RESPECT for it.

  • Nelson Kita

    BOYCOTT the nfl( national fake league) ungreatfull BASTARDZ ! ! ! ! ™®😈

  • Philip Wheatley

    You guys who are all saying they shouldn’t protest at work need to consider ONE THING: What if, at your work place, your employer required you to read a passage out of the Koran every day at 10am. Let’s say you made great money in a niche field that you COULD NOT QUIT, and that any prospective employer you worked for happened to have the same custom, that you read from the Koran at 10am. What would you do? “Shut your mouth and read from the Koran”? Or protest? It is NOT the right of an employer to FORCE an employee to do something that goes against their beliefs. I get it that you (and I) are patriotic and yes, I stand for the flag and cover my heart. But we CAN NOT demand that citizens of this great country stand and recite the anthem “or else”. WTF?? May as well move to North Korea if you want to treat people that way. SMH

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