No drivers, crew or other team members protested during the national anthem to start the NASCAR Cup series race after receiving warnings that they would be fired.
According to dailymail.co.uk:
Several team owners and executives had said they wouldn’t want anyone in their organizations to protest at The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing race in Loudon, New Hampshire, today.
Richard Childress, who was Dale Earnhardt’s longtime team owner, told the Associated Press: ‘It’ll get you a ride on a Greyhound bus.’
Childress, 72, says he told his team that ‘anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America’.
Hall of Fame driver Richard Petty’s sentiments took it a step further. The 80-year-old said: ‘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.’
When asked if a protester at Richard Petty Motorsports would be fired, he said, ‘You’re right.’
Another team owner Chip Ganassi, 59, says he supports Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s comments.
Tomlin said before the Steelers played on Sunday that players would remain in the locker room and that ‘we’re not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda.’
NASCAR drivers have only been standing for the National Anthem for the past 20 years. Previously, they were strapped inside their cars, reports Yahoo Sports.
The comments come amid protests from other sports leagues, particularly the National Football League and the National Basketball Association against President Donald Trump and social justice issues such as police violence.
Several NFL players, starting last season with then-San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, have either knelt, sat or raised fists during the anthem to protest police treatment of African Americans and social injustice.
Last week at NFL games, four players sat or knelt during the anthem, and two raised fists while others stood by the protesters in support.
And on Sunday, at least 130 players knelled, sat with linked arms, gave black power salutes or did not show up for the national anthem out of protest.
Players from both the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars were the first to protest by taking a knee ahead of their game at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday morning.
No players were kneeling during the playing of God Save The Queen – the British national anthem.
The protests came in the wake of Trump’s critical remarks toward players who don’t stand for the anthem.
‘That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for,’ Trump said, encouraging owners to act. He added: ‘Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired.’
On Saturday, Trump echoed his stance.
‘If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem,’ Trump tweeted. ‘If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!’
NASCAR has seen four black drivers in its nearly 70-year history and currently has one: Darrell ‘Bubba’ Wallace, 23, of Mobile, Alabama.
At the New Hampshire race, Martin Truex Jr of Furniture Row Racing won the first stage while Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing won the second.
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