The social justice hammer has been dropped on driver Noah Gragson after NASCAR and the Legacy Motor Club indefinitely suspended him for ‘liking’ a George Floyd-related meme online. Not commenting upon or even having created the meme, mind you, but simply for pressing the ‘like’ button.
Fox Sports received confirmation from NASCAR directly that the suspension was made specifically because Gragson liked a meme, however distasteful, online. Later, Gragson did respond online as soon as the mob began to go after him as the story went viral over the weekend.
“I am disappointed in myself for my lack of attention and actions on social media,” tweeted Gragson.
“I understand the serenity of this situation. I love and appreciate everyone. I try to treat everyone equally no matter who they are. I messed up plain and simple.”
Suspending someone for making crude or harsh statements usually comes for celebrities and athletes when they’ve actually said something, but doing so for pressing a button indicating he simply found a meme amusing online, without any other context, is unheard of even in our era of Cancel Culture.
Gragson doesn’t help whatever case he has, either. By immediately falling on his sword to appease the woke mob, he’s already made it so his potential defenders will call him a coward and his critics will demand even more of a reputation sacrifice.
“We have made the decision to suspend Noah Gragson effective immediately regarding his actions that do not represent the values of our team,” said the Legacy Motor Club in a statement. “Josh Berry will drive the No. 42 entry for this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan.”
NASCAR cited the rule book for their justification in their decision to suspend him.
“NASCAR fully supports Legacy Motor Club’s decision to suspend Noah Gragson. Following his actions on social media, NASCAR has determined that Gragson has violated the Member Conduct section of the 2023 NASCAR Rule Book and has placed him under indefinite suspension.”
So no slap on the hand, no counseling, no opportunity to explain or potentially provide any context. He has immediately been sidelined, and in our era this is tantamount to a career ender.
Below is the screenshot of the meme he ‘liked’. Most people will likely find it distasteful and offensive, but in America, the First Amendment isn’t there simply to protect speech we agree with, but to protect the speech of those we don’t agree with. Ask yourselves whether this is worth such severe consequences. Have you ever made a (very bad) joke?
“I’ll never have [Gragson] back again,” tweeted radio host Bryce Duncan. “I’ve always supported him even through his mistakes. Not this one. F*** you punk.”
Here is the question: If he liked a post wishing death upon or mocking Kyle Rittenhouse, Donald Trump, or Cayler Ellington as many leftist celebrities and athletes did, would NASCAR have made the same decision?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and across social media.