If Time magazine wanted to promote a jovial winner instead of a narcissistic quitter for the athlete of the year, its editors might have chosen NASCAR driver Brandon Brown over Olympic gymnast Simone Biles.
Brown, who helped inspire a political sensation among conservatives, recently showed he has far more humility, sense of humor, and love of country than any leftist pro athlete.
This was evident in an opinion article he wrote on Monday for Newsweek.
Brown, 28, started the piece by noting that he is “that” Brandon – a “NASCAR driver and unlikely meme.”
That meme was created in early October when Brown raced to his first career victory at Talladega Superspeedway. As he was being interviewed by an NBC Sports reporter afterward, the crowd in the background audibly chanted “F–k Joe Biden.”
The reporter, either from failure to pay attention or willful ignorance based on personal politics, asserted the fans were chanting “Let’s go Brandon.”
Brown who reportedly is a Republican, found that he, unlike liberals, could joke about it. Just a few days after the incident, as “Let’s go Brandon” took off, he tweeted, “To all the other Brandon’s out there, You’re welcome! Let’s go us.”
On Monday, Brown wrote, he now “finds himself in the middle of the American political conversation.”
He called the win in Alabama “a hell of a moment for me, my family, my team, and my sponsors,” one that he “had dreamt about my entire life.”
Yet, because of that reporter, Brown said he is now “in the passenger seat of my own viral moment.”
“I am fully aware that the millions of Americans chanting my name know little about me or about my winning the Talladega race that day. But I have spent the last few weeks getting to know more about them, and I’d like to share a little more about myself,” he added.
Brown noted that “all” of the advice he received after that interview was to “stay quiet. “ “No one knew how my sponsors would react and, in my world, there is no car to drive without the sponsors,” he wrote.
“So, I kept quiet. I turned down more press requests than I imagined someone could ever get—especially someone just starting his NASCAR career. I was afraid of being canceled by my sponsors, or by the media, for being caught up in something that has little to do with me.”
That certainly is a valid fear. Yet he noted, “Those who thought this would all go away appear not to understand why millions of people are chanting my name.”
Brown wrote that “racing at 200 miles per hour” doesn’t leave much time for him to think about politics. “And even if it did, I have always preferred the roar of the engine to the roar of my voice,” he said.
“My job is to run the next lap faster than the last one. Politics has never been that interesting to me. Though, like most, I have always had the impression that politicians were likely the cause of more problems than they were the solutions.”
Brown went on to say that he tried to understand why his name became so popular, when “Let’s Go Brandon!” was something he mostly heard from his own family.
But now, he said, he thinks he understands.
“I understand that millions of people are struggling right now and are frustrated. Struggling to get by and struggling to build a solid life for themselves and their families, and wondering why their government only seems to make it worse. People have a right to frustration—even anger,” Brown wrote.
“I know the cost of everything is rising and I know first-hand that making ends meet can be a struggle for middle-class folks like me. I have no interest in leading some political fight. I race cars. I am not going to endorse anyone, and I am certainly not going to tell anyone how to vote.”
“But I’m also no longer going to be silent about the situation I find myself in, and why millions of Americans are chanting my name. I hear them, even if Washington does not,” he added.
“Ninety-nine percent of my time this upcoming NASCAR season will be spent trying to take the next lap a little faster. But, when I have the opportunity and the time, I am not going to hesitate to speak about issues I am passionate about or the problems we face together as Americans.”
“How you vote is none of my business. Instead, I will use what free time I have to highlight the struggle we all feel and share, as Americans. To my fans, to NASCAR fans, and to everyone who has chanted my name: I dedicate myself this upcoming season to compete hard on the racetrack and to spotlight issues that are important to me and to millions of Americans across the country.”
He concluded: “Let’s Go America.”
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