“Let’s Go Brandon” is a NASCAR no-go.
Brown’s racing team, Brandonbilt Motorsports, prematurely announced last week that LGBCoin — a nod to the anti-Biden chant — will be the sponsor for the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series II.
NASCAR has not commented publicly, but a NASCAR official told Axios on Wednesday that “No form of this derogatory and vulgar euphemism will be permitted in any paint or sponsorship scheme.”
LGBCoin, a nearly worthless cryptocurrency, is named after the chant “Let’s Go Brandon,” a euphemism for “F— Joe Biden.” The phrase originated after Brown won the first race of his career in Talladega, Ala. , last October. While giving a live TV interview, as the crowd chanted an anti-Biden slogan, NBC Sports reporter Kelly Stavast pointed to the background noise, saying they should chant “Let’s go Brandon.”
After the phrase quickly became a political meme, Brown publicly worried that the chant was portraying him in a negative light and tried to distance himself from it. I have no interest in leading a political battle. I race cars,” he wrote in an opinion piece for Newsweek. But he ultimately said he would embrace his time in the spotlight.
A Brandonbilt Motorsports spokesperson told Fox Business that a NASCAR official had previously approved the deal over the phone.
“We are disappointed that NASCAR leadership has chosen to rescind approval of this sponsorship and feel they should have confidence in owning their decision to step back and not light a team or driver,” Brandonbilt Motorsports spokesman Max Marcucci, a spokesman for Brandonbilt Motorsports, told Fox Business on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, the NASCAR leadership’s handling of this situation now threatens to strain our relationships and put us in an incredibly awkward position, once again.”
In November, NASCAR President Steve Phelps made it clear that he was uncomfortable with the phrase. “We don’t want to associate ourselves with politics, either with the left or the right,” Phelps said. “Obviously we have been and always have, as a sport, tremendous respect for the office of president, no matter who is sitting.”
Phelps made inclusivity a major point for NASCAR, as he tried to expand the base of the sport’s traditional white Southern fans. In recent years, NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag and pledged to do a better job of tackling social injustice.