NASCAR head vows to crack down on unofficial ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ merch
Unofficial merchandise using the NASCAR logo alongside the words ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ – a political meme meant as a coded slur toward President Joe Biden – is illegal and will not be tolerated, according to the company’s top exec.
Addressing reporters for a ‘state of the sport’ press conference on Friday, NASCAR president Steve Phelps said the anti-Biden meme is “unfortunate” and “speaks to the state of where we are as a country,” but insisted racing should not get mixed up with political causes.
“We do not want to associate ourselves with politics, the left or the right. We obviously have and we’ve always had as a sport tremendous respect for the office of the president no matter who is sitting,” he said during a press conference at Phoenix Raceway in Arizona.
Also on rt.com ‘Let’s go Brandon’? NBC reporter ‘mishears’ NASCAR fans chanting ‘F**K JOE BIDEN’ during post-race interview
With respect to the trademarks used on that statement, to the degree they’re using a NASCAR logo, we will pursue whoever that is and get that stopped. That’s not ok. It’s not ok that you’re using our trademarks illegally, regardless of whether we agree with what the position is or not.
The meme was conceived by accident after NBC’s Kelli Stavast interpreted chants of “F**k Joe Biden” from the crowd at the Xfinity Series at Talladega in early October as ‘Let’s Go Brandon’, in reference to the winner, Brandon Brown, who she was interviewing after the race. The meme quickly took on a life of its own, becoming an encrypted invective against the Biden administration and even giving rise to merchandise bearing the innocent-sounding slogan.
Phelps’ pledge to quash any unofficial Brandon-themed NASCAR merch came just days after retired baseball star Lenny Dykstra shared a photo on Twitter of a man wearing a shirt styled along the lines of the NASCAR logo with the anti-Biden phrase, also including the acronym “FJB” in parenthesis to stress its intended meaning.
A key member of #TeamNails was pleased to see this just a few min ago at a Holiday Inn Express in Passaic County, NJ (as, it seemed, was everyone else eating there) #LetsGoBrandon#FuckJoeBiden@GETTRofficial@alliesinger@I_AmMelissa_@DolansBar@DonaldJTrumpJr@JasonMillerinDCpic.twitter.com/nD46Jtn7B8— Lenny Dykstra (@LennyDykstra) November 3, 2021
While news outlets across the US regularly published material deeming ex-President Donald Trump a “white nationalist” or worse during his stint in office – including a 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post comparing his administration to the Holocaust – the same outlets have decried the ‘Brandon’ phenomenon and its more explicit cousin as an unprecedented level of political vitriol. The Post declared last month that anti-Biden opposition is “far more vulgar and widespread” than that of his predecessors, while a CNN analyst recently made waves after likening the ‘Brandon’ chant to an oath of loyalty to Islamic State.Also on rt.com NBC mocked for spinning ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ as threat of violence against Biden after gun sellers use meme as marketing ploy
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