After President Donald Trump let loose on those who choose to “disrespect the flag” during a rally in Alabama on Friday night, players responded by protesting the national anthem in numbers we've never seen before. Entire teams stayed in the locker room, national anthem singers kneeled, and even owners joined in on the protest.
On Saturday, Trump got into a fight with Golden State Warriors player Steph Curry after he made negative comments about going to the White House. Then later that night, Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first MLB player to protest the national anthem.
Now there's another sport getting involved in the drama, but the outcome is completely different from what we've seen. Despite celebrities backing the players' protests, NASCAR reported no national anthem protests during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in New Hampshire.
This could be due to NASCAR owners issuing strong warnings to their crews and drivers that if they protest the national anthem, it will result in being fired.
NASCAR legend Richard Petty, who is now a team owner, told the Associated Press:
“Anybody that won't stand up for the anthem ought to be out of the country. Period. What got 'em where they're at? The United States.”
After being asked if people on his team choosing to protest the national anthem would be fired, Petty responded, “You're right.”
Another owner, Richard Childress, who was Dale Earnhardt's longtime team owner said:
“It'll get you a ride on a Greyhound bus. Anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America.”
Even though other sports are allowing their players to protest the national anthem, NASCAR owners are making it very clear that they have no interest in such actions.