We, as Americans, turn to sports as an escape. These are contests of human drama, for which we pick a side and cheer from the sidelines.
This is how we drown out the cacophony of chaotic world events, politics, weather, work, or relationship trouble. Our cares are refocused to the plight of others out on the pitch, the court, or the track.
But something strange is happening in the 21st century, as the cult of personality has invaded our sporting world. Instead of escaping into a pure and unfettered competition for several hours at a time, we are finding that the political, cultural world around us in invading our beloved sports – like the world’s least attractive streaker.
The NFL has been decimated by just such an issue, as Colin Kaepernick’s anthem-kneeling fiasco continues to fiscally neuter the entire league.
Now, in what was once considered a highly improbable scenario, NASCAR has found itself on the outs with the conservative community as well.
NASCAR is taking a "gradual shift…on guns" and will no longer allow partners to advertise commonly-owned rifles. This pathetic decision will cause their current customers to take a gradual shift on @NASCAR and will alienate potential customers. Good luck! https://t.co/HqRv7kIRci pic.twitter.com/ixBplhX45I
— NRA (@NRA) September 7, 2019
The move was well-calculated, according to those familiar with the situation.
The NRA-ILA reports the rejected ad was from K-Var, and “included depictions of ‘assault-style rifles/sniper rifles.’” NASCAR’s media sales company told K-Var the racing giant is undergoing a “gradual shift in (its) position on guns.”
K-Var’s blog reported the entire quote from National Event Publications, which is NASCAR’s media sales company:
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We just heard from NASCAR on a number of gun related ads and unfortunately, due a gradual shift in NASCAR’s position on guns, these ads must be edited/changed—especially those that are depicted as assault-style rifles/sniper rifles. NASCAR is still open to some of the less controversial gun accessories, concealed carry, or classes.
NASCAR’s shift coincides with a number of major retailers, such as Walmart and Walgreen’s, taking hardline stances on the Second Amendment in the wake of several mass shootings occurring in rapid succession.
If the NFL’s situation is any indication of how Americans view the intermingling of politics and sports, NASCAR is heading down a very bumpy road.
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