Trump slams NASCAR Confederate flag ban, berates sport’s only black driver
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBT) — President Donald Trump, who famously took on the National Football League a few years ago because some players took a knee during the national anthem, now is slamming NASCAR’s decision to ban Confederate flags.
Trump also berated NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace on Twitter today, saying Wallace owes everybody in the sport an apology for the “hoax” of an investigation into a noose found in Wallace’s stall at the Talladega Superspeedway last month.
Far from a hoax, the FBI investigated the door pull, concluding it had been on the door since last fall and could not have been directed at Wallace. No crime was committed, the FBI said.
Many NASCAR drivers and owners denounced Trump’s comments about the 26-year-old Wallace, NASCAR’s only black driver.
NASCAR president Steve Phelps has said repeatedly that the noose incident was not Wallace’s fault and insisted that it was not a hoax.
And Wallace himself rebutted the president, tweeting this afternoon: “All the haters are doing is elevating your voice and platform to much greater heights! Love should come [as] naturally as people are TAUGHT to hate. … Even when it’s HATE from the POTUS.”
NASCAR also issued a statement, declaring, “We are proud to have Bubba Wallace in the NASCAR family and we commend his courage and leadership. NASCAR continues to stand tall with Bubba, our competitors and everyone who makes our sport welcoming and inclusive for all racing fans.”
As far as a ratings plunge since NASCAR announced its ban on June 10 on Confederate flags from all events and concessions, the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer reported:
“Despite numerous delays and postponements due to inclement weather since the sport returned amid the pandemic, television viewership and Nielsen ratings have not consistently dropped, nor have any changes been in direct correlation with the flag ban.”
Sunday’s Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on NBC earned a 2.67 rating and 4.34 million viewers, according to NBC Sports. That viewership statistic is 46 percent above last year’s Brickyard 400 race, which aired in September at the same time as NFL games. It was the second-most-viewed NASCAR race since the sport returned to action from the pandemic.
Trump switched sports on his tweets in the afternoon, criticizing the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians for saying they would review a potential name change after years of pressure from Native American groups.
“They name teams out of STRENGTH, not weakness, but now the Washington Redskins & Cleveland Indians, two fabled sports franchises, look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct.”
He also took a swipe at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., for promoting the results of a DNA test that showed she had a small percentage of Native American blood.
Trump, who routinely calls Warren Pocahontas, also claimed that “Indians, like Elizabeth Warren, must be very angry right now.”
This report contains information from The Associated Press and other media.
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