NASCAR Touts Respect for National Anthem and the Right to ‘Peacefully Express’ Opinions in Statement

NASCAR put out a statement this afternoon hours after President Donald Trump praised them on Twitter:

The President may have been responding to a report about how some execs and team owners have reacted to protests during the national anthem:

It appeared no drivers, crew or other team members participated in a protest during the national anthem to start the NASCAR Cup series race Sunday in Loudon, New Hampshire. Several team owners and executives had said they wouldn’t want anyone in their organizations to protest.

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.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. weighed in this morning:

But this afternoon, NASCAR put out a statement both affirming their “respect for the national anthem” and for the right of people to “peacefully express” their opinions:

[image via screengrab / NASCAR]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac