At a commemorative White House ceremony this week, President Donald Trump appeared to indirectly resurrect his longstanding criticism of the NFL’s national anthem protesters.
As Fox News Insider reported, 2017 NASCAR champion Martin Truex Jr. was invited to the presidential event in celebration of his season.
During his remarks, Trump expressed his admiration for the professional racing league.
“At every NASCAR race you will see thousands of patriotic Americans from the grandstands to the pit stalls proudly waving our flag and roaring with joy at the words, ‘Start your engines,'” the president said.
He specifically referenced NASCAR CEO Brian France in applauding one particular observation about drivers, crews and owners.
In addition to France, Truex was joined at the event by his girlfriend, Sherry Pollex.
“I will tell you one thing I know about NASCAR, they do indeed, Brian, stand for the national anthem, right?” he said.
Though his recent comments on the matter pertained only to racing, they were soon being linked to his ongoing criticism of the NFL that began last year amid ongoing protests within the league.
As CBS News reported, Trump acknowledged at the time that his remarks on Monday could create additional controversy on the deeply divisive subject.
“Somebody said, ‘Maybe you shouldn’t say that, it’ll be controversial,'” he said. “And I said, ‘That’s OK, NASCAR’s not going to mind it at all.’ Right fellas? They don’t mind it at all.”
While the warning has become reality in the form of articles repudiating the rhetoric, Truex seemed unfazed by any political pitfalls when he presented Trump with a replica of the helmet he won during his championship race.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 21, 2018
“I brought you a special gift I’d like to present right now,” Truex said, describing the helmet’s “special paint job with some special moments from our team, Sherry and I together, and some of the great accomplishments we had together.”
Pollex also marked the occasion without a partisan tinge, celebrating her partner’s White House recognition in a tweet the same day.
I can’t even believe this day!!! 🇺🇸🙌What an honor it was for this team & Martin to be acknowledged for their incredible 2017 season! The White House and its history inside was incredible.❤️ #NASCAR #TruexNation pic.twitter.com/qw34Xnx9R4
— Sherry Pollex (@SherryPollex) May 21, 2018
“I can’t even believe this day!!!” she wrote. “What an honor it was for this team & Martin to be acknowledged for their incredible 2017 season! The White House and its history inside was incredible.”
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