NASCAR star breaks silence on ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ chant
NASCAR driver Brandon Brown has finally spoken on the viral anti-Joe Biden 'Let's go Brandon' chant which was popularized during a post-race interview of his, claiming he has "zero desire to be involved in politics".
The phrase, which has been seized upon by some American as a vigorous polemic against their current president, has its roots in a media interview Brown was giving to NBC Sports in September following his win at the Talladega Superspeedway.
At the time, sections of fans could be heard chanting 'F*ck Joe Biden' in the background – but the reporter instead suggested to the audience that they were saying 'Let's go Brandon'.
The phrase was quickly converted into a meme, with 'Let's go Brandon' being heard at various sporting events and elsewhere throughout the United States in the months following. Republican lawmakers even repeated the phrase in Congress.
But Brown, the man without whom the chant wouldn't exist, stayed notably quiet throughout its growth from an obscure joke to a potent political gesture. Until now.
"All the advice I got from those around my racing career was to stay quiet after that now-famous interview," Brown told Newsweek.
"No one knew how my sponsors would react and, in my world, there is no car to drive without the sponsors.
"I have no interest in leading some political fight," he added.
"I race cars. I am not going to endorse anyone, and I am certainly not going to tell anyone how to vote."
Let’s go Brandon howl shuts down Nervous Nancy. 🐸 pic.twitter.com/Ql2EQDZ9jR— Agent Brandoe The Pipe Hitter (@BYounger13) December 21, 2021
Brown's uneasiness at being cast in the role of a civic influencer is mirrored by NASCAR President Steve Phelps.
"I feel for Brandon," he said last month.
"I think unfortunately it speaks to the state of where we are as a country. 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.
"Do we like the fact that it kind of started with NASCAR and then is gaining ground elsewhere? No, we're not happy about that.
"But we will continue to make sure that we have respect for the office of the president."
Despite Brown's self-admitted reluctance to wade into a political debate, he did say that he is aware of the concerns of various Americans who find themselves on either side of the political debate.
"But I'm also no longer going to be silent about the situation I find myself in, and why millions of Americans are chanting my name. I hear them, even if Washington does not," he added before mentioning rising gas prices and inflation, conservative talking points currently being aimed at the Biden administration.
"How you vote is none of my business. Instead, I will use what free time I have to highlight the struggle we all feel and share, as Americans.
"To my fans, to NASCAR fans and to everyone who has chanted my name: I dedicate myself this upcoming season to compete hard on the racetrack and to spotlight issues that are important to me and to millions of Americans across the country. 'Let's Go America!'"