This is America, and up until recently it was a given that we have a First Amendment right to express ourselves, even if that expression is counter to the opinions of our leaders. Yesterday’s NFL protests were about as American as any protest can get. They were 100% peaceful, 100% on point and some could argue 100% effective, thanks in part to President Trump who had amplified the volume of such protests by Tweeting his opposition to them earlier in the week.
So far the NFL has been the only major American sports league to not only take a stand against white privilege, but also to take a stand against the President of the United States. Yesterday as numerous NFL teams and players either sat during, or sat out of the National Anthem, there was a NASCAR Sprint Cup race going on in New Hampshire. While the NFL was creating controversy, NASCAR was making their own statement in quite a different way, by conducting business like usual. Every single driver participarting in the race stood for the National Anthem without showing even a small amount of hesitation. President Trump used the event to praise NASCAR.
“So proud of NASCAR and its supporters and fans. They won’t put up with disrespecting our Country or our Flag – they said it loud and clear!” Trump tweeted at 7:30 AM this morning.
This simple tweet goes a long way to show just how out of touch the President is with reality. There is a simple reason why no NASCAR driver sat for the National Anthem, and it likely has nothing to do with the sport’s respect for the flag. There were no African American drivers in yesterday’s race, and according to recent polls, just 2% of NASCAR fans identify themselves as ‘African American’. In fact, a staggering 94% of NASCAR fans are Caucasian, the highest percentage in any major American sport. Ninety-one percent of NASCAR fans are also over the age of 34, and 50% of fans are over the age of 55. This means that the average NASCAR fan is a 50-something white male from the South. Unlike the NFL, the fan base of this sport is not representative of the general American populace.
The President of the United States just used a sport, which is watched by almost all Caucasians, to try and make a point as to how a league and its participants should respect the flag and the country.
Let’s hear your thoughts on Trump’s latest tweet in the comments section below.