NASCAR is generally recognized to have a sharply conservative fan base, but even that crowd is now drawing the ire of the Westboro Baptist Church — the small, Kansas-based organization known for its radically socially conservative views.
While the Westboro Baptist Church, run by Fred Phelps and comprised mostly of members of his extended family, commonly protests events for a number of reasons, they’ve drawn the most attention for their anti-gay views. Perhaps the most controversial of all their protests was during the funerals of American soldiers, motivated by unrelated pro-gay legislation in the United States.
The organization’s targeting of NASCAR seems to be the result of an interview reigning Spring Cup champion Brad Keselowski gave to the blog Queers4Gears at the Phoenix Speedway, when he was asked if NASCAR was ready for an openly gay driver. He responded in the affirmative, at least among fellow drivers.
“I can’t speak for the fans, I can only speak for myself, but in this garage, if you can win, people will want to be a part of what you can do,” Keselowski said.
The Church’s decision to picket in Kansas seems to be a direct reaction to the Keselowski interview. On the organization’s website, a message with their schedule protest ends with “God Hates Brad Keselowski!” The group plans to picket on Sunday April 21 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. prior to the STP 400.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Kansas Speedway