When NASCAR’s chairman Brian France endorsed Donald Trump, he didn’t realize that he was aligning his brand with a political figure a lot of people don’t like.
France met with the Associated Press Sports Editors. He told them that he had no idea what he was doing when he backed Trump.
“I was surprised a little bit. As it turns out, he’s a polarizing figure. I probably shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was,” France said during a meeting with Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE).
France’s support of Trump has “roiled a sport his family built from the ground up,” wrote the Associated Press.
France’s wife warned him that endorsing Trump would cause some backlash against the company.
France says that NASCAR isn’t a political organization. Drivers are free to support the candidates of their choosing.
“We’re not policy makers. We may like one thing or another, or have one personal feeling or another, and it should be left at that. But I understand that social and digital media today have made that a different discussion.”
France probably isn’t on Twitter reading all of the news about Trump. However, somebody at NASCAR is. The car racing company has moved its postseason awards event from a Trump resort stemming from comments Trump made. NASCAR says it will not return to the Trump National Doral Miami resort for its postseason Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series banquet “due to recent and ongoing blatantly bigoted and racist comments from Donald Trump in regards to immigrants of the United States.”
France has appeared at a Trump rally. He’s previously supported both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
France made it clear in his original endorsement that he does not agree with the anti-immigrant or racist policies in Trump’s platform.
“I’m not supporting him for all of his views, or his immigration views,” France said. “I happen to be very enamored by the excitement he’s brought and the voter turnout that it is creating.”