Several owners of National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) teams have claimed they will back Donald Trump’s suggestion that NFL players who protest the national anthem should be fired.
“Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta’ be out of the country, period,” Richard Petty, owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, told The Associated Press. “What got ’em where they’re at? The United States.”
When asked if a protester at Richard Petty Motorsports would be fired, Petty responded, “You’re right.”
Meanwhile, Richard Childress, the owner of Richard Childress Racing, also revealed he would not tolerate any sign of disrespect.
“It’ll 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.”
The controversy follows comments from Donald Trump during a rally in Alabama on Friday, where he called on NFL owners to fire players who refuse to stand for the national anthem.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired. He’s fired!’” Trump told his supporters.
However, Trump’s remarks sparked additional protests from NFL players on the field and team owners across the league during matches on Sunday.
Over a dozen members of the Ravens and Jaguars knelt during the playing of the national anthem during a fixture at Wembley Stadium in London. It was also the first time NFL owner took part in the protests, as Jaguars Owner Shad Khan locked arms with his players as they stood on the sidelines.
Jaguars’ owner Shad Khan: pic.twitter.com/aMO8cHDWYb
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 24, 2017
The incident provoked further condemnation from the president.
“Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Courageous Patriots have fought and died for our great American Flag — we MUST honor and respect it!”