during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Axalta presents the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 10, 2017 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.

As NFL players rose up en masse against Donald Trump and for racial justice on Sunday by sitting or kneeling during the national anthem, NASCAR owners made clear they would not put up with the same style of protest.

According to the Associated Press, both Richard Childress and Richard Petty said they would fire anyone who protests racial injustice by refusing to stand for the national anthem

Richard Childress, who was Dale Earnhardt’s longtime team owner, said of protesting, “It’ll get you a ride on a Greyhound bus.” Childress 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, saying: “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.”

Obviously, it is easier for NASCAR owners to stake out such extreme positions given the racial makeup of their sport and its fans. According to a 2014 report by The Atlantic, NASCAR’s audience is 94 percent white. There is currently only one black driver at the top level of the sport, Bubba Wallace (whom Petty is reportedly interested in signing), and Wallace has not spoken much about racial justice.

NASCAR appears to be the only professional sports organization taking such a hard-line stance on protests during the national anthem. Owners, coaches, managers and executives in the NBA, NFL, WNBA and MLB have voiced some degree of support players’ right to protest.

Petty and Childress’ comments fall in line with Donald Trump’s suggestion that NFL players who kneel during the national anthem be “fired.”

[Associated Press]

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

1 thought on “NASCAR owners threaten to fire drivers, crew members who protest during national anthem

  1. Racial injustice? More whites are killed by the police every year. Almost half are white this year and around 20% are black. Kneeling during the anthem accomplishes nothing and never will

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