Richard Petty says he’d fire NASCAR drivers who protest national anthem

LOUDON, N.H. — NASCAR legend and team owner Richard Petty says he’ll fire any drivers who protest the national anthem.

“Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem ought to be out of the country. Period. What got ’em where they’re at? The United States,” Petty told the Associated Press.

Petty was asked if a Richard Petty Motorsports team member would be fired for protesting during the anthem, and he replied, “You’re right.”

Owner and former driver Richard Childress also said, “It’ll get you a ride on a Greyhound bus.”

No drivers or other team members sat or kneeled at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway during the NASCAR Cup series race Sunday in Loudon, N.H.

Several NFL players are kneeling during the national anthem in protest of remarks President Donald Trump made at a rally in Alabama on Friday.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b**** off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired,’” Trump told a cheering crowd in Huntsville, Alabama.

Instead of taking a knee, most NFL players opted for a show of unity Sunday, locking arms ahead of their games amid criticism from Trump, who slammed players opting to protest during the national anthem.

Still, plenty opted to kneel during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” with the Baltimore Ravens’ Terrell Suggs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Mike Evans among the stars following the lead of former pro quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who pioneered the anthem protests last year over what he was said was social and racial injustice.

Ahead of the morning game in London and 11 a.m. MDT games, players from several teams, including the New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, Broncos and Miami Dolphins, took knees during the anthem.

With the exception of one player, the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t even take the field until the anthem was over. The Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans also did not take the field for the national anthem in Nashville, Tennessee.

In Sunday morning tweets, Trump renewed his criticism of the protests, slamming the league’s ratings and saying players should be fired or suspended for such protests.

On Friday, he called for NFL owners to fire any “son of a b****” who “disrespects our flag.”

“What you just saw was a variety of responses with the theme of unity,” an NFL front office source said. “All across the league, owners, coaches and players came together to decide what was best for them.

“If Trump thought he could divide the NFL, he was wrong.”

After Sunday’s 1 p.m. kickoffs, Trump tweeted that he approved of players locking arms, saying it represented “great solidarity” for the country.