The Associated Press kept a sort of live blog of how athletes in all major sporting events protested – or didn’t protest – the National Anthem on Sunday. One event that didn’t see any protests was the NASCAR Cup series. And with good reason because NASCAR people don’t take kindly to that kind of thing. Here’s Richard Petty:
“Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country. Period. What got ’em where they’re at? The United States.”
Bless the Associated Press’ heart for the exact transcription of that quote. Petty sounds like one of the angry townspeople in South Park, but you know, with less nuance. While Petty may be able to fire some employees, should they exercise their right to protest, it is unclear if he could have any of them kicked out of ‘Merica.
Petty’s comments were met with mixed reviews.
Team owner Richard Childress also said the following when asked what would happen if there were any protests on his team:
“Get you a ride on a Greyhound bus when the national anthem is over. I told them anyone who works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people have gave their lives for it. This is America.”
Before we go, let’s see how all that institutionalized patriotism is translating to ratings. Via Sports Media Watch:
A whopping 22 of 26 Cup Series races this season have posted a decline in ratings and viewership. Chicagoland was the 21st of those races to at least tie an all-time or decade-plus ratings low, and the 19th to do so in viewership.
Keep in mind that last year’s NASCAR ratings were cause for concern, even garnering front-page attention on The Wall Street Journal prior to the start of this season.
With ratings that low you have to wonder what got ’em where they’re at?