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Is NASCAR still safe for families?

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Some consider NASCAR to be the most patriotic and family friendly sport in the nation. With a focus on military and prayer at the beginning of each race event, it’s hard to find another professional sport in America who honors our heroes and respects families more than those who participate in NASCAR.

While the majority of the discussion this week will be dominated by the non-suspension of Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief Chad Knaus or the possible destruction of the racing surface at Bristol Motor Speedway, one story is not being covered by the main stream NASCAR media. It’s a story that contradicts NASCAR’s family friendly strategy and diminishes the good work done within their diversity program and the charity work done by the drivers involved in this controversy.

I believe NASCAR the organization and families in the stands at Bristol Motor Speedway this past weekend had no clue of what was thrown at them because in a crowd of over 100,000 screaming race fans, it’s hard to understand the content of the moment. But sadly as I reported on my radio show this week – we’ve been disrespected by four NASCAR drivers.

This isn’t a joke or a petty gripe about someone wrecking someone else. This is about the war on decency and families that’s playing out in our society now crossing over into the world of NASCAR.

NASCAR drivers Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing, along with Landon Cassill and Travis Kvapil of BK Racing, decided to associate themselves to driver intro-music at Bristol that contains extreme profanity, racial slurs and lyrics demeaning to women.

Bristol Motor Speedway allows drivers the opportunity to choose their pre-race intro music and for the most part it’s been an extremely entertaining promotion. Song choices vary from across the musical spectrum including Country, Christian, Rock and Rap. What caught my attention this week was the arrogance of those drivers who didn’t consider those fans who are the most innocent – those kids who attended the event.

Many will shake this off as not a big deal. Some media members who want access to drivers and teams will brush this under the rug and not want to stand with me on principle. Some won’t care because they have no problem with it or they’ll argue that the entire song wasn’t used during the introduction – only 10-15 seconds of the song was played over the speaker system at Bristol. But friends these drivers made the decision to use the songs. Kids who look up to these drivers will be influenced. So let me share a few lyrics from each song with you and afterwards, I would hope we can agree it was wrong to use these songs and decency should prevail.

Kyle Busch was introduced by a song called “Power” by Kanye West, lyrics include:

(warning: strong language) 

F*** SNL and the whole cast, Tell ‘em Yeezy said they can kiss my whole a**

More specifically, they can kiss my a**hole

I’m an a**hole’ You n****s’ got jugs

You short-minded n—s’ thoughts is Napoleon

My furs is Mongolian, my ice brought the goalies in

Now I embody every characteristic of the egotistic

He know, he so, f****n’ gifted

Denny Hamlin chose the song “Teach Me How To Dougie” by Cali Swag District:

Teach me how to dougie

Teach me, teach me how to dougie

All my b****es love me

All my, all my b****es love me

All my b*****es love me

You ain’t f****n wid my dougie!

My name is yung!

For da dudes who don’t know me

I know I’m from da west but I can teach you how to dougie!

Step up in da club and all these b*****es bug me

All da n****s dancin’, none of them know me

Landon Cassill picked “Hustlin’” by Rick Ross:

Who the f*** you think you f****n’ with, I’m the f****n’ boss

Seven forty-five, white on white that’s f—-n’ Ross

I cut ‘em wide, I cut ‘em long, I cut ‘em fat (What)

I keep ‘em comin’ back (What), we keep ‘em comin’ back

I’m in the distribution, I’m like Atlantic

I got them motherf******s flyin’ ‘cross the Atlantic

I know Pablo, Noriega, the real Noriega

He owe me a hundred favors

I ain’t petty n***a, we buy the whole thang

See most of my n****s really still deal cocaine

And last and probably most disappointing is Travis Kvapil who has children of his own, chose a song called “N—-s In Paris” by Kanye West and Jay-Z:

Ball so hard muhf*****s wanna fine me

That s*** crazy

She said Ye can we get married at the mall?

I said look you need to crawl ‘fore you ball

Come and meet me in the bathroom stall

And show me why you deserve to have it all

Ball so hard, that s**** crazy, ain’t it Jay?

What she order, fish filet

Your whip so cold, this old thing

Act like you’ll ever be around muhf*****s like this again

Bougie girl, grab her hand

F*** that b***** she don’t wanna dance

Excuse my French but I’m in France (I’m just sayin’)

Combining all of the songs the “F” word was used 23 times and the “S” word was used 8 times. The “B” word was used over 20 times and unfortunately, the “N” word was used more than 15 times. This comes on the heals of NASCAR barring the famous General Lee car at Phoenix International Raceway earlier this year stating it wasn’t “in the best interest of the sport” because of the car’s association with the Confederate flag.

I do not blame NASCAR for what happened at Bristol. I point my disbelief and anger at the track management and the four drivers. I’ve reached out to Bristol Motor Speedway and Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) for comment and my emails have gone unanswered. And actually I’m not surprised. For JGR this is extremely embarrassing because team owner Coach Joe Gibbs is a Christian leader within the NASCAR industry and with two of his three drivers attaching themselves to these songs, I too would have no comment.

So what do we do now? We must demand an apology from Bristol Motor Speedway, Busch, Hamlin, Cassill and Kvapil. As men who promote foundations with their names attached they should be held to a higher standard because they have a certain level of public trust. Would Kyle Busch print off the entire lyrics of “Power” and hand it out during a fundraiser for the Kyle Busch Foundation? I think not. So why is it okay for him to promote the song at Bristol?

Listen, I have stood with these drivers when race fans have complained about driver profanity over their radios on race day. When race fans tune into their race scanners and listen to the drivers, they do it by choice and if you don’t want to hear it turn it off. But in this case these drivers didn’t give us a choice. It was selfish and extremely unprofessional. It was also unnecessary. They could’ve easily chosen a song without profanity, racial slurs and demeaning words.

It’s time for us to take a stand for NASCAR families. I’ll happily give these four drivers and Bristol Motor Speedway air time during my show for an apology. But at the end of the day a simple statement of apology sent out in the form of a press release will do.

I’ll be waiting – we have all season.

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