Racing Fans Petition To Prevent Danica Patrick From Hosting 2018 ESPYs


June 4, 2018

Regardless of how you feel about Danica Patrick’s now-finished racing career, the fact she soon will become the first woman to host the ESPY Awards is pretty cool, right?

Well, not everyone is looking forward to it. In fact, some are committed to ensuring she gets nowhere near the Microsoft Theater stage in Los Angeles on July 18.

Racing fan Robert Durkee recently started a petition to prevent Patrick from hosting the ESPYs. His reasons for doing so are, well, rather unsurprising.

Here’s his complete request to ESPN:

“Dear ESPN,

The ESPY’s are an event designed to honor those who have excelled in
some way in the world of sports.

In considering whether Danica Patrick meets this criterion,

we should not omit these facts:

1. She has never won a professional auto race in the entire Western Hemisphere.


2. She has never won a full-field auto race (because her single, solitary,

and only only race win came in a very small field of 18 racers).


Danica Patrick has NOT excelled in the world of sports,

and she therefore does not meet the standard for hosting the ESPYs.

We, the undersigned, believe that Danica Patrick is unqualified to
host your upcoming ESPY’s.

We therefore request that your network replace Danica Patrick with someone else.

We thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.”

Now, whether Patrick has “excelled” in motorsports is completely subjective. Her critics would say she only won one IndyCar race and zero NASCAR races, while her supporters would say she shattered barriers and paved the way for other women to compete on racing’s biggest stages.

What isn’t subjective, however, is that prior to Patrick, ESPN has tabbed a professional athlete to host the ESPYs on just three occasions in the show’s 25-year history: Lance Armstrong in 2006, LeBron James (with Jimmy Kimmel) in 2007 and Peyton Manning in 2017.

Other than those outliers, celebrities such as Samuel L. Jackson, Justin Timberlake and Seth Myers have received hosting duties.

Sure, you could make the case the three athletes who have hosted the awards are among the best in their respective sports’ histories. But again, labeling Patrick a motorsports failure is a tough sell, as her career and impact on racing truly was unique.

In any event, Durkee’s petition only had 25 supporters as of Monday morning, so chances are he’ll have to suffer through the show — or, you know, just not watch it.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images
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