NASCAR Owners Say They Would Fire Employees Who Protest Anthem

Some NASCAR owners said they would fire employees who protest the national anthem, drawing praise from President Donald Trump on Monday.

Racing team owners Richard Childress and Richard Petty reacted strongly Sunday as NFL owners defended players protesting the national anthem following criticism from Trump. 

The players staged a large-scale protest this weekend, with many sitting or taking a knee during the anthem. Trump had repeatedly called on owners to fire the players for not honoring the pregame ritual. 

But auto racing veterans Childress and Petty sided with the president. 

Asked how he would react if one of his employees protested during the anthem, Childress, owner of Richard Childress Racing, told USA Today, “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.”

Petty, a seven-time NASCAR champion who is a co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, chimed in on the issue as well.

Anybody that don’t stand up for that ought to be out of the country. Period,” he told the Associated Press. “If they don’t appreciate where they’re at … what got them where they’re at? The United States.” Petty confirmed with a reporter that he would fire employees who did not comply.

However, Andrew Murstein, also a co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, told ESPN he “wouldn’t fire someone for expressing their feelings” but he disagrees with the demonstrating.

I would sit down with them and say it’s the wrong thing to do that [to kneel], and many people, including myself, view it as an affront to our great country,” Murstein told ESPN. “If there is disenchantment towards the president or a few bad law enforcement officers, don’t have it cross over to all that is still good and right about our country.”

Richard Childress said he’d provide employees who demonstrate a bus ride once the anthem was over.  (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Other NASCAR team owners expressed their thoughts at Sunday’s race in Loudon, New Hampshire that was reportedly free of anthem protests.

Former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, who now owns Joe Gibbs Racing, also seemed to come out against the…

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