Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Goes Viral With Tweet Supporting NFL Protests
Dale Earnhardt Jr. caused a sensation on Twitter Monday (Sept. 25) when he posted a message in support of the NFL players who have been protesting during the National Anthem over the weekend.
Earnhardt quoted John F. Kennedy from a 1962 speech he made at the White House, writing:
The post makes Earnhardt — who is a 14-time most popular driver in NASCAR, according to NBC Sports — one of the few NASCAR personalities to weigh in on the NFL protests, which were sparked by comments President Trump made during a rally in Alabama last week in which he targeted players who took a knee during the National Anthem to protest government policies. Trump called for NFL owners to fire those players, and in response, many more players joined in protests over the weekend, some in solidarity with team owners. Trump's remarks have widely been cast as racist and specifically targeting black players.
Earnhardt's tweet has received more than 340,000 likes and been re-tweeted more than 130,000 times as of Tuesday morning (Sept. 26).
NASCAR owners Richard Childress and Richard Petty have stated that any member of their teams who offered any form of protest during the anthem would be fired, NBC reports.
Earnhardt is no stranger to country music fans. His career credits include an appearance in Trace Adkins' "Rough & Ready" video in 2004, and he and his father were both featured in classic footage in a touching video tribute NASCAR released in April ahead of the Daytona 500, set to the music of Zac Brown Band‘s “My Old Man.”
Former Steel Magnolia singer Meghan Linsey joined in the NFL protests on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 24), taking a knee directly after her performance of the National Anthem at Sunday's Tennessee Titans vs. Seattle Seahawks game at Nissan Stadium.
In a statement Monday, the country and pop singer explained her thought process, saying, "I will never normalize hate, whether that angers people or not. I knew there would be some backlash from people who don’t understand, but there has also been such an overwhelming amount of support from those who applauded and knelt with me, and I’m so grateful for that."
Kelly Clarkson is among the other stars who supported the protests. She turned to Twitter to argue her case on Sunday, even tweeting directly at President Trump in response to his Twitter claim that NFL ratings and attendance are "way down" due to the protests.
Meghan Linsey Takes a Stand on Her Knee