Dale Earnhardt Jr. never has been afraid to ruffle some feathers by opposing the opinion of the NASCAR establishment.
Following President Donald Trump’s call for NFL team owners to “fire or suspend” any players who choose not to stand while the “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played, Earnhardt tweeted Monday to express his support of Americans’ rights to peacefully protest. The third-generation driver posted a quote from a speech former president John F. Kennedy delivered on March 13, 1962, arguing that stripping individuals of those freedoms makes “violent revolution inevitable.”
Earnhardt’s tweet came one day after NASCAR team owners Richard Childress and Richard Petty said that they wouldn’t tolerate any of their drivers protesting during the national anthem. Childress said the only ride he would offer anybody who does so would be “on a Greyhound bus,” and Petty went even further, saying people who don’t stand during the anthem “ought to be out of the country.”
Roughly 30 minutes before the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ most popular driver posted his message, Trump commended the sport for Childress and Petty’s passionate statements.
President Trump sparked widespread debate over the weekend with his appeal to NFL owners to cut players who protested during a rally Friday in Alabama. He later added fuel to the fire, tweeting that the NFL’s viewership and attendance is “WAY DOWN,” which he claimed is because people “love our country” and perceive kneeling during the anthem as disrespectful.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
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