Calling the Confederate flag an “insensitive symbol” that he finds offensive, NASCAR chairman Brian France said the sport will be aggressive in disassociating it from its events.
“We want everybody in this country to be a NASCAR fan, and you can’t do that by being insensitive in any one area.“
How brave. Good for you, Mr. France. I’m glad to see you are standing up to the bigots who are fans of your sport. (I was planning on putting “sport” in quotes in that sentence, but then I remember how difficult it is to drive a race car at those speeds surrounded by other cars inches away. Yeah, as much as I detest the sport, “yawn, did they turn left again?”, it is a sport.) I wonder if he has blasted North Carolina yet for their bigot bill? It is so great when someone “gets it.”
Why are you looking at me like that? What happened at the latest race in Texas? It couldn’t be that bad. It’s not like they’d have the Duck Commander give the invocation or anything, right?
A “Duck Dynasty” star delivered an unusual invocation before a NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway over the weekend, praying that “we put a Jesus man in the White House.”
Phil Robertson, who stars in the reality TV show along with other members of his family, has endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for the Republican nomination for president while his son, Willie, has spoken out in support of Donald Trump.
“All right, Texas, we got here via Bibles and guns, I’m fixin’ to pray to the one who made that possible,” the Duck Commander prayed before the Duck Commander 500. “Father, thank you for founding our nation. I pray, Father, that we don’t forget who brought us — You. Our faith in the blood of Jesus and his resurrection. Help us, Father, to get back to that. Help us, dear God, to understand that the men and women on my right are the U.S. military. On my right and on my left. Our faith in the U.S. military is the reason we are still here. I pray, Father, that we put a Jesus man in the White House. Help us do that and help us all to repent, to do what is right, to love you more and to love each other. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.”
Well, at the end he did say that we should all love each other. That’s a plus, right? The president of the Texas Motor Speedway was quick to defend Mr. Robertson’s right to be a bigot and tell everyone about it, comparing his invocation to The Boss canceling a concert:
TMS President Eddie Gossage defended Robertson on Saturday, pointing out that Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert in North Carolina to protest the state’s new law banning anti-discrimination ordinances. “He said what he felt and believed and there are a lot of people that agree with him and a lot that disagree with him,” Gossage said (via Star-Telegram.com). “Nowadays, you cannot say what you think because of political correctness. So I guess everyone has a right to free speech or nobody does.
“Bruce Springsteen cancels his show in North Carolina on his viewpoints and a lot of people agreed with him and a lot of people disagree with him. I defend Bruce Springsteen’s rights to take his position and, if you do that, then you’ve got to defend everybody else’s, too.”
I’ll take “missing the point” for 1000$, Alex. No one (rational) is arguing against Mr. Robertson’s right to say whatever he wants to say. NASCAR is a private entity, so a prayer before the race doesn’t carry with it the disturbing church/state issues that prayers before, say, high school football games does. If Phil wants to spend the entire invocation explaining how he got the idea for his first duck call while he was fellating a Fulvous whistling duck, and how he never intended anyone to ever kill the ducks they called with his products, how he was just trying to make it easier for fellow duck fetishists to get that sweet, sweet duck semen (allegedly), then that is perfectly fine. Three cheers, speak your mind, tell us all what you believe to be the truth!
The point is something the religious right seems to have a very difficult time with: freedom of speech doesn’t protect you from criticism. He can say whatever he wants, we can call him a bigot and give NASCAR the old side-eye for providing him the stage to air his outdated, historically inaccurate opinions.
I get the position Brian France is in here. NASCAR is probably the only major sport (okay, men’s golf I guess as well) where appeasing the bigots at the expense of everyone else may be in the sports best interest. After the pro-bigot flag backlash he suffered after his earlier attempt at inclusivity, I would hate to see the shit-storm he would face if he spoke out against the Robertson’s religious inspired bigotry. Add in the fact that I kinda think he would be lying if he did speak out against it, and I’m just left completely confused as to why he even made the bigot flag comments. Remember when you read people criticizing NASCAR and Robertson that NASCAR is the one that went with the “We want everybody in this country to be a NASCAR fan, and you can’t do that by being insensitive in any one area” line. They weren’t pushed into it, the bigot flag was a battle they chose themselves. It seems like Brian France really thinks he is ushering a new era of diversity to NASCAR. I just don’t get it.
The France family, which owns the series, has long welcomed political candidates at their events and has a history of making public endorsements. NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. endorsed George Wallace for president. Brian France last month endorsed Trump, and even recruited a handful of drivers to attend a Trump rally in Georgia.
The Trump endorsement was met with significant backlash and France said he was disappointed that his record on promoting diversity had suddenly been called into question. He has spent at least the last decade trying to help his family business shed its image as a sport for intolerant rednecks, but there is no away around it: His Trump endorsement put those efforts at risk.
Then came the Robertson commentary on Saturday night, which Texas Motor Speedway officials said Monday they did not know was coming.
“I can’t believe you! Jews are always welcome in my theater and I have several Jewish friends, why should it matter that I endorsed Adolf?” *rolls eyes*
Seriously, what is going on in this guys head? I would love to hear any thoughts on his strategic thinking.