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Donald Trump Applauds NASCAR, At Odds with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Over National Anthem Controversy

Update: NASCAR tweeted a statement Monday afternoon, Sept. 25, concerning its position on nationwide protests during the national anthem and comments made by a few of its owners, drivers and even President Donald Trump.

Original article:

President Donald Trump and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rocked the Twitter world Monday morning with their views on the national anthem controversy.

Trump, who claimed Friday night NFL owners should fire players that protest the anthem, acknowledged what he felt was NASCAR’s support on the issue.


Trump was likely referencing articles by USA Today and The Hill, among others, where select owners said they wouldn’t tolerate kneeling for the anthem. Richard Petty and Richard Childress were among those most vocal about the controversy.

“Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country. Period,” Petty first told the Associated Press. “What got ’em where they’re at? The United States.”

“Anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in,” added Childress. “So many people gave their lives for it.” The owner added crew members should “get on a Greyhound bus” if they were thinking of protesting.

While not all owners necessarily outwardly agreed, the impression was given that NASCAR protesters would be fired from their jobs. The sentiment was then applauded by Trump, as he saw all NASCAR drivers and crew stand in solidarity for the anthem at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

NASCAR’s decision was in direct contrast to the NFL, NBA, and other stick-and-ball sports that spurred protests both on and off the field Sunday. Dozens of NFL players knelt while NBA stars like LeBron James and Stephen Curry have spoken out against the president’s views.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b***h off the field right now,” Trump said at an Alabama rally Friday night. “Out! He’s fired. He’s fired! And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”

Trump’s tweet also seems to be at odds with NASCAR’s most popular driver.  While Earnhardt stood for the pre-race anthem, he sent a tweet this morning intended to give respect toward those who felt differently.

NASCAR CEO Brian France did not go on the record with the issue Sunday. But France was open in his 2016 support of Trump, along with several prominent NASCAR drivers.

About the author

The author of Did You Notice? (Wednesdays) Tom spends his time overseeing Frontstretch’s 40+ staff members as its majority owner and Editor-in-Chief. Based outside Philadelphia, Bowles is a two-time Emmy winner in NASCAR television and has worked in racing production with FOX, TNT, and ESPN while appearing on-air for SIRIUS XM Radio and FOX Sports 1's former show, the Crowd Goes Wild. He most recently consulted with SRX Racing, helping manage cutting-edge technology and graphics that appeared on their CBS broadcasts during 2021 and 2022.

You can find Tom’s writing here, at CBSSports.com and Athlonsports.com, where he’s been an editorial consultant for the annual racing magazine for 15 years.

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Bill B

Why did you single out El Presidente?

Isn’t he also at odds with Petty, Childress and many NASCAR fans as well?

Hey Tom, why don’t you protest something controversial at your work place and see how it goes.
Or better yet why don’t you cheer for a specific driver in the press booth.

Yes, everyone has a right to protest on their own time. Most of us would get fired if we took a stand or spoke out on anything political or controversial at our jobs. Apparently that rule doesn’t apply to millionaire athletes.

Bill B

I’m just tired of it all. When I can get away with speaking my mind at work with no repercussions, I will be OK with football players being able to. And you are correct, my cynical remark should have been aimed at Mr. Popular Jr. and not you. All you did was report it, so I apologize for shooting the messenger.


when I’ve tried to speak my mind at work on politics, I’ve have been asked to stop it as i’m not being paid to do such a thing. I can speak my mind on my own time, not on the clock. if not for nascar’s opportunities his father gave him, jr would be a mechanic at a dealership. his sister runs jr motorsports.


Nobody has ever asked me to salute a flag while I’m at work,
or take an oath of loyalty. If I have to be quiet for a few, no
problem.. I’ll just do my own thing silently over here.


Just my opinion but I think ‘Golden Years’ Dale no longer is the voice of NASCAR (and hasn’t been for a while) – I for one could care less what Jr thinks of it. In my opinion it is disrespectful and I am proud to be a NASCAR fan – so happy to see the owners step up for what’s right…


amen!!! agree with you 100%

these “athletes” protesting, this country has given them the opportunity to do what they do for a living, and be paid quite a bit of money to do so.

you should always respect your country and the flag. as I say, if you don’t like it here, don’t let the door hit you on your way out where the good Lord split ya.


Good for Junior. Let’s face it, NASCAR is playing to a base that many of whom think that flying the Confederate Battle Flag is patriotic. Junior took a position that he knew wasn’t going to make him any friends or boost his bank account but took a heartfelt position anyways. That’s character.

Freedom: The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. – Oxford Dictionary


Not that anyone cares, but the libertarian take is this:

-nfl is a privately owned organization & can set its rules for employees (i.e. players)
-fans are consumers who choose to vote with their wallets as to whether the product * it’s presentation is sufficient to part with their money & time

I don’t watch pro football to begin with. The anthem “protests” make me less inclined to do so. bzf has been handed a golden opportunity to capitalize on the motherhood & apple pie thing and win back consumers (i.e. fans). Anyone reckon he’s smart enough to do so? Me neither.


Another libertarian take on it is this. The socalled anthem protest has nothing to do with the flag. There was one guy who started that last year, and his protest was largely unnoticed. This year he is out of football but a couple of players picked up the symbolism. Again hardly a movement that anybody noticed. So what happened? Seems to me somebody decided to goad people in the hope of making it into an issue. They succeeded probably beyond their wildest dreams. And others who should have known better got involved and are tarred with the same brush.

Tom B



Junior can go pack sand. If his last name wasn’t Earnhardt, he would have been gone long ago.
Now, his liberal bent surfaces while it was hidden when he was making money off his (and his Daddys)popularity. Should have retired last year and let a driver run his car. As it is, he’s retired while driving.


Your last sentence is the real elephant in the room. Behind closed doors the NASCAR bigwigs have to be stunned at how this year has turned out. I’m sure there were fantasies of the 88 car winning several races and going deep in the playoffs, reversing the ratings and attendance decline.
Instead they got Danica Patrick with a beard.


Certainly Childress and Petty have the right to dictate their employees actions at work. No argument there. However, announcing it publicly makes it seem that they are speaking for Nascar and it’s fans as a whole, which they do not. Junior is certainly entitled to voice his opinion as a citizen of this country, people have fought and died for his right to do so. I don’t understand the reaction, when it seem to be just fine for Neo Nazis and KKK members to march, carrying weapons, but peacefully taking a knee is vilified. Makes no sense to me at all.


BUT JUNIOR you bright BULB, quoting JFK in this instance does that quote a great disservice. REVOLUTION ABOUT WHAT EXACTLY? I don’t think these idiots even know. Bunch of spoiled ball handlers hating on this country and what it has given them, an opportunity to succeed and make obscene amount of cash for playing a damn sport.

Nothing divisive about what Trump said, he is calling out what MOST people think. THEIR actions are divisive and offensive to me, and Trump is the problem here???? NOPE, the sheep who hate this country are. This nonsense is a well orchestrated movement put on by behind the scenes people with a anti America agenda. This will continue. Today the flag, yesterday the statues, what do these sick people have in store next? They are creating a narrative, a false narrative, one that clearly is designed to distract from the real issues. Plus they fundamentally think this country is evil and are hell bent on changing it, for the worse.


the first amendment allows for freedom of speech … a few things here

1 – The NFL is allowing their players to excercise that right – doesn’t mean we have to agree with it – but that’s the reality.
2 – Just because YOUR employer doesn’t allow that same freedom – doesn’t make it right OR wrong – it just makes it “the norm you live in”
3 – The bigger thing that people are forgetting here – is that these people are standing up for what they believe to be true, just like when KKK/White supremacists/BLM/Antifa all do when they protest – Again – doesn’t have to be agreed with – just is right of the first amendment
4 – Why was it OK when Tom Brady or Kevin Harvick didn’t want to go to the white house when Obama was in office, but now it’s a HUGE deal when other’s don’t want to go. We’re allowed to disagree with others, hence the opening line about the first amendment. The part we tend to fail at – is actually LISTENING to the other side and trying (outside of the far left, far right) – that many of us agree on alot of the same, and it’s ok to disagree….
5 – The most important point that I will make is this one: I love this country, and while i realize equality and bias still exist, I know that there are opportunities here that exist no where else.

While i don’t expect you all to agree with me – i ask that you just think about these points. Whether I agree or not with the NFL players, am conservative or liberal, rich or poor, i am American, and as such, this is my god given right.

Interesting views by all – no judgement to any – lets get back to racing and a points system that no longer confuses me.

Biff Baynehouse

Hold your horses kidz! The Nascar fan base (as is the NHL) is a 99.9% white & hardly the place for an enlightened discussion on American racial inequities. In such an arena, it’s very convenient & pretty comical for white folks to rally around a Confederate Flag & run around high-five’in themselves, celebrating patriotism & equality (among members of their own race). Just saying, I imagine most of the people exposed to this thread lack the experience or intuition to appreciate the scope of the issue, & should be considering themselves lucky …in silence.
Isn’t it ironic that 45’s indignant & imbecilic rhetoric [fire the bishes] brought the NFL to it’s knees. literally & practically in unanimity, & inflated the displays ten-fold? Go figure: if you didn’t see that coming – or – that 6 Trump officials would get busted using private e-mail servers, get your eyes checked!
So, clearly by rule of unintended consequences, now these displays have evolved from being anti-LEO, into anti-Trump. Remember that point of fact kidz. The former, I vehemently & whole heartily objected to. But the latter is clearly a VERY worthy cause, no doubt.
Regardless, insulting America & the American’s who make / made it the greatest country in the history of the Universe (by taking a knee during the Anthem) is an ill-advised way to mitigate whatever (supposed) issues exist within it &/or what ails you. As a USAF Desert Storm Vet, I will NEVER sign off completely on this form of display …for ANY reason. But now that Dumbass Don dropped a load of twit-bombs of blissfully unenlightened ignorance & intolerance on the topic, I find the NFL player’s form of display & expression understandable, tolerable & practically warranted.

Brian H

This is not Jr’s first foray into sensitive NASCAR political circles. When the book about him came out years ago, he stated that he thought the Confederate flag was a symbol of racism. I found it odd that Earnhardt fans, Jr or Sr, were always the most prominent displayers of the battle flag. And don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the Stars and Bars, as I too am a son of the Confederacy. To me it is heritage, not hate. Junior has never been in line with the views of mainstream NASCAR fans, they just could not see past his name to realize it. And don’t ever think that money is not the driving force of this whole thing. I suspect that if NASCAR thought that supporting the kneelers would pack the stands and rev up TV ratings, you’d be hearing a far different tale.

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