The birthplace of everything from Dale Earnhardt to “Let’s Go Brandon” shocked many with an apology Wednesday for “recent actions” deemed out of line with its mission.
That ambiguous apology comes the week after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott waved the green flag at the annual All-Star race at Texas Motor Speedway. It also, not coincidentally, appeared on the first day of “Pride Month.”
In a tweet, the Florida-based auto racing company said that in celebrating the LGBT community, some recent actions were “not aligned with NASCAR’s mission” to be inclusive. The apology did not specifically address the Texas governor, but signs are clear.
An AP reporter said that “someone with the power” admitted having Abbott wave the flag “was a mistake.”
Abbott is on the left’s naughty list for a variety of reasons. In this instance, the ire is from his February request for state agencies to investigate instances of children undergoing gender transition treatments that hinder their biological development.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had recently determined such treatments to be child abuse.
NASCAR president Steve Phelps declared in February that the racing organization does not want to be intertwined with politics, either “the left or the right.” This despite the fact that his fan base is largely Southern and Midwestern and far more conservative than any other sports league.
Reactions online were decidedly mixed. Many took to Twitter to vilify the sport for going “woke.” Everything from the noose that wasn’t a noose fiasco to the ban on rebel flags was targeted by some who called for the return of moonshine and dirt tracks.
Others took the sport to task for having a politician wave the green flag a few short months after declaring themselves apolitical. Some, however, took direct issue with inviting Abbott to fill the honorary position in light of his actions seen as hostile by the LGBT community.
Calls for boycotts rained down from some quarters, and these come for a sport already spiraling with losses in both attendance and TV viewership. When a pastime as traditional and niche as NASCAR loses touch with its fan base, the results may come frighteningly quick.