‘They are a sporting organization trying to take sides on a political issue. That never goes well for any company…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Long associated with a blue-collar, conservative-leaning fan base, NASCAR has become the latest casualty in the corporate-pressure campaign to ban Second-Amendment gun rights.
The stock-car racing circuit is now taking criticism for excluding advertisements from firearms companies in its summer raceway programs, the Daily Mail reported.
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NASCAR decided to turn their back on their customer base, joining the likes of Yeti, Dick’s and Under Armour. We were approached by a NASCAR publication eager to earn our business, but after submitting our ad it was immediately rejected, stating that we cannot depict “assault weapons”… whatever those are. We resubmitted the ad after adding a large ‘CENSORED’ bar over the rifle, with a tag reading “This publication rejected our ad”. This too was rejected by NASCAR. They said they did not like that we called them out. We resubmitted a third time, with a tag line reading “Visit www.Dark-Storm.com to find out why!”. This was again rejected. They did not like the words “FIND OUT WHY”. As we have learned, NASCAR has made a “gradual shift” but this doesn’t seem very gradual to us. It seems as though NASCAR has turned their back on the overwhelming majority of their fan base in the most embarrassing way possible. #nascar
K-Var General Manager David Dolbee called it a “colossal mistake” by NASCAR.
“Do they not understand their own base?,” he wondered to CNN. “They are a sporting organization trying to take sides on a political issue. That never goes well for any company.”
The companies received notice from NASCAR via its advertising vendor, National Events Publications, that a change in political attitudes was driving the move.
‘We just heard from NASCAR on a number of gun related ads and unfortunately, due to 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,” Sunny Berlin, art director for National Event Publications, told Dolbee in an email, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The vendor said NASCAR was still open—for the time being—to advertising “less controversial” items like gun accessories, concealed-carry licensing programs or training classes. It asked K-Var to submit another ad for review following those guidelines, but the company refused.
“You can’t do ‘this gun’s good, that gun’s bad.’ You know?” Dolbee told the Free Beacon. “I said we wouldn’t deal with them at all if that was going to be the case. We could never go forward with that type of a policy.”
Despite the claims of a gradual shift, the firearms companies said the move was a dramatic reversal following a recent spate of nationally publicized mass shootings that had driven left-wing legislators to clamor once again for the repeal of gun rights.
The decision “seems like a pretty rapid and dramatic shift to me,” said Dark Storm’s Ed Newman.
Several major retailers have recently caved to pressure from anti-gun activists and politicians. Among them was Walmart, following a massacre in El Paso, Texas where an assailant targeted shoppers at one of its stores near the U.S–Mexico border.
Others—both open-carry activists and leftist anti-gun radicals—elevated tensions in the aftermath by causing public panics at Walmart stores elsewhere in the country.
In March, the virtue-signaling CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods made a similar decision to discontinue its sale of firearms. Conservative gun-rights advocates boycotted in response, resulting in a marked decline in sales.
President Donald Trump also was said to be considering certain components of proposed weapons bans, including extended background checks and red-flag legislation that would temporarily allow authorities to disarm anyone profiled as a potential threat.
Some in his conservative base have cautioned that acquiescing to the anti-gun lobby could have political consequences in next year’s re-election effort.