NASCAR driver Brandon Brown told the media Sunday that he became afraid that cancel culture left would destroy his career after he inadvertently became a part of the birth of the popular “Let’s Go Brandon” chant.
Brown told the New York Times that he initially found the “Let’s Go Brandon” kerfuffle amusing, but as the chant grew to national prominence, he began to worry that the left would come gunning for him and cause his sponsors to dump him.
The chant caught on early in October after NBC Sports “reporter” Kelli Stavast purposefully mischaracterized the “F*ck Joe Biden” chant a crowd was chanting at the NASCAR Xfinity Series Sparks 300 at Talladega Superspeedway. The reporter’s effort to cover for Biden came during her post-race, trackside interview with race winner Brandon Brown. As the crowd sang out their anti-Biden chant, Stavast absurdly said, “As you can hear the chants from the crowd… ‘Let’s Go Brandon.'”
— Sn00pster (@sn00pdad) October 3, 2021
From there, the absurdity of Stavast’s characterization of the vulgar chant became a hilarious way to attack the media and the president simultaneously and without using a curse word, on top of it all.
(Isaac Brekken/NASCAR via Getty Images)
The racer told the Times that he didn’t even catch the chant or the comment by Stavast during the interview. But after the race, when he began checking Twitter, he discovered the burgeoning wave for the silly chant. At first, he thought it was sort of funny, and he tweeted out a little quip about it, telling other Brandons that they are welcome for the focus he brought to them.
To all the other Brandon’s out there, You’re welcome!
Let’s go us
— Brandon Brown (@brandonbrown_68) October 6, 2021
But that was before the chant took on a life of its own. Soon enough, he began to worry.
“I was afraid of being canceled by my sponsors, or by the media, for being caught up in something that has little to do with me,” the 28-year-old driver told the paper.
He also said that he felt he’d better finally speak up because “waiting out the storm” raised by the chant does not seem to be working. The LGB chant has become a mainstay at nearly every event that brings large numbers of Americans together, and it isn’t going away any time soon. So, Brown thought he’d better come out and address the matter.
Brown noted that everyone told him to let it go and stay silent as the chant broke through to become public tender.
“All the advice I got from those around my racing career was to stay quiet after that now-famous interview,” Brown told the Times. “No one knew how my sponsors would react, and, in my world, there is no car to drive without the sponsors.”
As to the phrase and the way it is used, he begrudgingly accepts it, at least as far as its goal of taking a curse word out of public parlance.
“I don’t want it to just be the substitute for a cuss-word,” he lamented, before adding, “I mean, if it’s making it more polite, then, by God, I guess, go ahead.”
Brown also said that, even though he is a registered Republican, he has no interest in making political endorsements or talking politics. “I have zero desire to be involved in politics,” he said. And he worried that his name connected to such a negative thing as attacking a president was bad for his career. “If they’re going to use my name, I’d like for it to be productive,” he said.
The Brandonbilt Motorsports racer added that, when all is said and done, he wishes the chant would be something more like “Let’s Go America.”
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