Not One Knee Was Taken During Solemn Prerace Ceremonies at Dover
I bid you welcome gentle readers, and a cordial “Hope you’re ready for this one” to our assigned NASCAR reader for today. This may well turn out to be the column I swore I wouldn’t write about the subject I swore I’d stay away from. That’s a whole lot of swearing right there, and trust me when I tell you, I have more, but in deference to the gentility of my readers and the tender years of some, I shall remain the lady I have always been… maybe.
Last season, one troublemaking malcontent in the NFL decided that kneeling during the playing of “The Star Spangled Banner” would be a fun thing to do. He claimed it was to protest unnamed injustices by unnamed people perpetrated against his “oppressed” race. This year a lot more folks, with the full blessing of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, have joined in the game of “Let’s trash our Anthem.”
As always happens, the left-leaning faction of this country has quickly picked up on this “protest” as a means of putting down our President, Donald J. Trump and anyone or everyone associated with him or of a conservative mind. Just for the record, though I seldom ever discuss politics, and have never done so in a column, that’s me. My political mindset falls somewhere to the right of Ronald Reagan.
Apparently, that alone makes me a racist, though I haven’t a prejudiced or racist bone in this ancient body. I am prejudged to be whatever the left claims I am and in their eyes, they are never wrong. Know what gentle readers? I’m old and tired, but I too have rights, and I too feel oppressed right now.
As long as that whole mess stayed in football, I had no reason to care. I’ve enjoyed NFL games… even played in Fantasy leagues for years now (not this year)… but when push comes to shove, I’m a race fan that can live nicely without being treated to a bunch of overpaid “athletes” making asses of themselves and trampling on all the things I’ve ever been taught were right and good. That’s fine. Only liberals have feelings; I get that part… and I am free not to watch the nonsense and disrespect in the NFL.
However!!! Because President Trump gave his stamp of approval to remarks made by Richard Petty and Richard Childress, putting down the practice of “taking a knee”, auto racing has become a secondary target for the liberal media of America. The track in Dover Delaware is crawling with them, and they really won’t take “No” for an answer. If a driver demurs from offering the requested opinion on the NFL “protest”, then he must have been told not to speak with the press. I always love a good conspiracy theory… but few if any have ever proven true. I’m going to give you a couple of quotes taken directly from an article written by Al Pearce and appearing in this column.
“It should come as no surprise that most NASCAR drivers -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. being an enlightened exception -- are reluctant to talk about the recent national anthem protests by NFL players.”
“Those with intelligent opinions -- almost certainly only a handful -- have likely been told to avoid anything that will bring attention to the subject.”
That will do for now. The author goes on to quote three drivers, each of whom failed to take the bait and gave absolutely no indication that they might ever consider disrespecting our National Anthem. For that reason, they are judged to have less than intelligent opinions… all but Dale Earnhardt Jr., who for some reason always seems to have an opinion. (It’s a social media thing) My dear little Irish Mom spent a lifetime trying to teach me that there are times when it’s better to say nothing at all. She failed, but she tried!
Harkening back for a moment to the less than intelligent opinions. One of the drivers very politely asserting that he had nothing to say on the subject and was more interested in winning a Championship than discussing the NFL’s problems was Ryan Newman. One has to assume that Mr. Pearce somehow missed the fact that Ryan’s less than intelligent opinion comes backed with a degree in Vehicular Engineering from Purdue University. That’s some pretty strong credentials to be looked down upon by a media hack.
Your scribe has purposely started this on Saturday afternoon, but will wait until we see how things unfold on Sunday. It is my considered opinion… to which I am constitutionally entitled… that there will be not one soul on a knee at that race… on track or in the grandstands. From its inception, NASCAR has always been known for its patriotism and support of America’s military and first responders. That is something in which we race fans take great pride, and I cannot in good conscience sit back and silently watch our sport being brought down to the level of the NFL by members of the liberal media looking for more click bait.
Let me be perfectly clear… we are all about RACING, not RACISM. The two have absolutely nothing to do with each other… despite the red herrings being dangled by poor journalism and prejudice. We’re all aware of the general stereotype of the “typical race fan.” To some minds being a race fan makes every one of us an uneducated almost toothless redneck, wearing a plaid shirt and drinking beer… or shine. Being patriotic on top of that makes us racists. Those that read my byline regularly know that I never… never, ever generalize about any group for any reason. No trait is ever universal. That’s simple fact. No two snowflakes since the dawn of creation have been exactly alike. The same holds true for fish, reptiles, cats, dogs and human beings.
***** Time passes *****
Now it is Sunday and the Anthem was delivered beautifully by the USO Show Troupe and the race has just begun. As predicted, there were no incidents involving knees. The practice of preceding each race with a prayer and the National Anthem has been an integral part of NASCAR racing for as long as this fan can remember… and our record of solemnity remains intact.
That’s it folks! No problems and nothing to see here. Move along. As stated earlier, we’re all about racing, not racism. Liberal media, go back and pester the NFL. You’re not needed here.
In a reverse of the omnipresent disclaimer, this column is not intended to speak for the opinions of other writers on Race Fans Forever. As to the management, well, that would be me, and I can attest that as such, I am in full agreement with the words written here.
One last note. Comments on this column should be posted HERE, not on Twitter. I want them on record.
Be well gentle readers, and remember to keep smiling. It looks so good on you!