NASCAR owners side with Trump, say they will fire drivers who protest national anthem

Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #43 Smithfield Ford, NASCAR Hall of Famer and team owner Richard Petty, and Ryan BlaneyJerry Markland/Getty ImagesRichard Petty (center) stands with Ryan Blaney (right) and Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s first black driver in over a decade.

After nearly universal push-back against President Donald Trump’s criticism of NFL players who protest during the national anthem, one sport is siding with commander in chief — NASCAR.

Several team owners said they would come down hard on any drivers who did not stand during the national anthem. That included NASCAR legend Richard Petty, owner of Richard Petty Motorsports.

“Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country, period,” Petty said (via the Associated Press). “What got ’em where they’re at? The United States.”

When Petty was asked if his drivers would be fired if they protest during the anthem as Trump called for, Petty emphatically said, “You’re right.”

Richard Petty Motorsports currently employs Bubba Wallace, who recently became the first black driver in a NASCAR race in over a decade.

Richard Childress, owner of Richard Childress Racing, also said he would not tolerate any drivers who do not stand during the anthem.

“It will get you a ride on a Greyhound bus,” Childress said. “Anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America.”

All drivers reportedly stood during the anthem prior to Sunday’s race in New Hampshire.

During a rally in Alabama on Friday, President Donald Trump criticised NFL players who protest the national anthem, saying he wished NFL owners would “fire” the players and say “Get that son of a b—- off the field right now.”

After the comments, numerous NFL owners and executives released statements condemning Trump’s comments and supporting their players. On Sunday, dozens of players around the league kneeled, sat, interlocked arms, or stayed in the locker room during anthems prior to NFL games.

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