NASCAR driver/owner Tony Stewart fired off a hot take with a tweet about Colin Kaepernick and his refusal to stand for the national anthem. In return, Smoke got some serious blowback.
It began when Stewart tweeted early Monday evening:
If Stewart thought that was a reasoned discussion of why Kaepernick will continue to sit during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” he was sadly mistaken. Kaepernick, you will be reminded, explained his protest: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
After tweeting his two cents on the debate, Stewart was immediately reminded of the incident two years ago in which the car he was driving struck and killed another driver who was walking on the dirt track as they were racing. “Didn’t you kill a guy?” a user replied to Stewart and to Kaepernick. To that tweet, which likewise was directed at Kaepernick, Stewart replied, “You’re an idiot.”
To another critic who called him a racist, Stewart replied that “I had a black roommate” for five years, which brought the reply: “Did you kill him, too?”
Finally, Stewart made an effort to clarify his position. “I’m not saying our nation isn’t messed up,” he tweeted, “just that police officers are not the root of the problem.”
The responses to that tweet were somewhat more measured, but one user pointing out the number of Confederate flags that fly at NASCAR races.
Still, the whole thing is a sign of just where the debate over Kaepernick’s protest has gone as virtually everyone in America has weighed in on it. Arian Foster of the Miami Dolphins offered a solution to the circular debate Stewart started.