Dale Earnhardt Jr. shared a bizarre tale Tuesday about a handful of speeding tickets he racked up as a young driver. Photo Credit: David Tucker/News Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK David Tucker/News Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK

Traditionally, those in sports media have been expected to remain objective and unbiased when it comes to their analysis and their reporting, not allowing their own personal sports fandom to show through or influence the way they do their job. But that expectation has gradually been changing, particularly in recent years, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. seems to think that’s a good thing.

Earnhardt currently serves as an analyst for NASCAR following his retirement from full-time racing several years ago, so he is a member of the sports media himself.

When posed the question of whether or not he thinks that analysts should be open about their own fandom and allegiances, Earnhardt said he is for it as he enjoys knowing that the media member is a fan, too.

“I think so. I like to know that they too are fans. There’s a time and a place,” Earnhardt said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Obviously, there are varying degrees to which an analyst can acknowledge their fandom or allegiance. Skip Bayless, for example, has made his Dallas Cowboys fandom an integral part of his public persona and his show while Kirk Herbstreit actively avoids any hint of bias by even refusing to make a prediction on games that he will be commentating, which all goes along with Earnhardt’s “time and place” qualifier.

Generally, Earnhardt’s opinion seems to be a popular one in the sports media world.

While fans might not want a journalist or a commentator on a national broadcast cheerleading a particular team, we’re now in an age where some level of acknowledgment of an analyst’s sports fandom is understood and appreciated by most in the right contexts.

[Dale Earnhardt Jr.]