Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the biggest name in American auto racing.
On Monday, the retiring NASCAR superstar presumably voiced his support of NFL players who have offered silent protests during the playing of the national anthem.
Earnhardt Jr. sent out a tweet Monday morning quoting line in a speech given by President John F. Kennedy on March 13, 1962.
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible,” Kennedy said, “will make violent revolution inevitable.”
Earnhardt’s tweet came a day after each NFL game featured some sort of silent protest following comments from President Trump in which he said NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the anthem at a rally in Alabama on Saturday night.
Trump also said fans should “leave the stadium” if a player were to take a knee.
As for NFL owners? Trump said their response to their players is “get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he's fired. He's fired!”
At the NASCAR Cup event in New Hampshire on Sunday, every driver and team member stood for the anthem leading Trump to praise them in another tweet writing: “So proud of NASCAR and its supporters and fans. They won’t put up with disrespecting our Country or our Flag — they said it loud and clear!”
Richard Petty, a NASCAR team owner and one of its biggest names, came out and said those who don’t stand for the anthem “ought to be out of the country.” When asked if his team members would lose their jobs if they protested in such fashion, Petty said they would.
Richard Childress, another prominent owner who was the team owner for the late Dale Earnhardt Sr., said any of his employees who protest in that way “get you a ride on a Greyhound bus.”
According to AP, Childress said he told his team that “anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America.”
Former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs and current NASCAR team owner, said “it’s a big deal for us to honor America.”
On Monday afternoon, NASCAR responded with a statement.
“Sports are a unifying influence in our society, bringing people of differing backgrounds and beliefs together,” the statement read.
“Our respect for the national anthem has always been a hallmark of our pre-race events. Thanks to the sacrifices of many, we live in a country of unparalleled freedoms and countless liberties, including the right to peacefully express one’s opinion.”