Several NASCAR owners’ outspoken criticism of a series of peaceful protests across the NFL has landed the sport in the crosshairs of one of the most popular hosts in late night TV.
Stephen Colbert capped off his nine-minute monologue Monday by taking a jab at Richard Childress and Richard Petty’s statements, which President Donald Trump applauded, claiming that they would fire drivers if they didn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Childress and Petty’s condemnation of the peaceful protests admittedly has been denounced by other members of NASCAR such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., albeit indirectly. That said, they still send a very different message than did statements released by various NFL teams, as well as the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell.
“Now, I don’t know why NASCAR is responding differently than the NFL,” Colbert said. “It might be — I don’t know — it might be because there’s only one African American driver in all of NASCAR. And I’m surprised he can get around the track without being pulled over.”
Interestingly, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” writers likely don’t even realize the true irony of suggesting that NASCAR’s lack of diversity is the reason that certain owners, such as Petty, take issue with athletes kneeling during the anthem to protest racial inequality.
It’s true, NASCAR only has one black driver in its three national series, Darrell Wallace Jr. It’s also true, however, that Richard Petty Motorsports arguably wants Wallace behind the wheel of its car in 2018 more than any other team in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
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