Dale Earnhardt Jr. is caught in middle of a heated debate after sharing an agonizing photo AP Photo/Alex Gallardo
Dale Earnhardt Jr. waits in the garage area prior to the opening practice session for the NASCAR auto race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., Friday, March 24, 2017. Only 24 drivers in NASCAR history have started 600 races, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. joins the club Sunday. After a slow start to his first season back from a concussion, he would love to celebrate the milestone with his first win on the well-aged asphalt at Fontana, where he typically runs quite well. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Good or bad taste is subjective. Dale Earnhardt Jr. found that out when he shared a photo on his Twitter page asking his more than 2 million followers how they felt about the agonizing image.

On May 16, Dale shared a photo originally posted by Jordan Bianchi with SB Nation. The image shows Aric Almirola appearing to grimace after been extracted from his car following a fiery crash at Kansas Speedway on May 13. In the caption, Dale simply asked, ?Just me? Or is it quite a bit in poor taste to use such photo.?

While some fans staunchly agreed that the photo wasn?t only in poor taste but was also disrespectful and even criminal, others offered that in other sports, images showing injured athletes were commonplace. One fan commented, ?It was uncalled for. Aric was in an unfortunate state and this kind of makes him look like a fool,? and a journalist responded, ?It doesn?t make him look like a fool. It makes him look like someone in justifiable pain.?

Followers shared multiple images of injured football players both on the field and being carted off, and sportscaster Jim Noble offered, ?Journalistically OK IMO [in my opinion]. I would draw the line at injuries that could be life-threatening, but we knew that was not the case by then.?

And sports photographer Michael Winn offered another take on the image: ?No, you can’t censor how dangerous the sport actually is, this photo invokes the emotion that words cannot.?


One very thoughtful fan of Dale Jr. did point out something that no one else did, though. She wrote, ?You just shared it with your 2.1 million followers so that?s not exactly perfect. Not sure if it?s any different than any other sport, though.? She added in a second tweet, ?I love Jr. to pieces – but that was my initial thought for sure. Oh well – I get that he?s looking out for Aric.?

What do you think? Was a line crossed, or is it just a part of the sport?

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development in the past. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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