As the NFL, the NBA and even MLB have seen player protests and remarks on social media increase after President Donald Trump took direct aim Friday at those who protest the national anthem, as well as owners who do nothing about it, several NASCAR owners have weighed in in a big way.
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, “Anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America.”
As the Hill noted, Hall of Famer Richard Petty really minced zero words.
“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,” Petty said.
Petty was asked if drivers protesting during the anthem would be fired, and he said, “You’re right.”
Interestingly, this is exactly what President Donald Trump called for Friday when he said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’”
He may not have said NASCAR owners, but it appears that wasn’t necessary.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.