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NASCAR threatens legal action over ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ phrase alongside NASCAR logos

The green flag flies on a new season of NASCAR. (Nascarking/Wikimedia Commons)
November 09, 2021

NASCAR is distancing itself from the popular anti-President Joe Biden chant “Let’s Go Brandon,” warning that the organization will pursue legal action against anyone using its trademark on products that feature the phrase.

On Friday, NASCAR President Steve Phelps said the organization “will pursue whoever (is using logos) and get that stuff,” according to Deadline.

“That’s not OK. It’s not OK that you’re using our trademarks illegally, regardless of whether we agree with what the position is,” Phelps said.

The phrase, which quickly became a euphemism for “F—k Joe Biden,” got its start at a NASCAR event at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama last month when NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast said a crowd chanting “F—k Joe Biden” was actually chanting “Let’s go Brandon” in support of Brandon Brown who had just earned his first career win.

The phrase has since been chanted at college football games, the World Series, a UFC Main Event, and more.

“Do we like the fact that it kind of started with NASCAR and then is gaining ground out elsewhere? No, we’re not happy about that,” Phelps said.

“It’s an unfortunate situation and I feel for Brandon, I feel for Kelli,” Phelps said. “I think, unfortunately, it speaks to the state of where we are as a country. We do not want to associate ourselves with politics, the left or the right.”

Despite Phelps’ claim that the organization does not want to associate with politics, last year NASCAR came out in strong support of social justice causes typically espoused by those on the left.

After NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from its events in June 2020, Phelps went on to praise “social justice and diversity equity inclusion.”

“It was a moment in time back in June that seemed, for us, it was the right time to act. I think it was the right time for our country. I think it was the right time for our sport. The response to that was fantastic,” Phelps said, according to ABC News. “What we do in the areas of social justice and diversity equity inclusion is going to be authentic to who we are. May not be the right thing for the NBA, but it’s going to be the right thing for us.”

“There was a question at the time: Social justice, is that something a sport should do, NASCAR should do? Do we have permission to do it? The answer is yes,” Phelps continued. “You’re going to have critics no matter what you do. You’re not going to please all the people for sure. We’re going to do what we believe is right for the sport, right for the growth of this sport.”