NASCAR Puts Muzzle on Drivers and Freedom of Speech

It was announced earlier this week at the Associated Press (AP) learned that at least two-star drivers this season has been fined, as much as $50,000, for making critical comments against the sport. NASCAR will not allow the drivers to be publicly identified, but sources told AP that the comments were considered disparaging to the sport.

NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston confirmed this, but would not discuss details. One of his key comments towards why were posted in’s article about the events.

“It is the sanctioning body’s obligation on behalf of the industry and our fans to protect the sport’s brand,” Poston was quoted on “Any action taken by NASCAR has nothing to do with the drivers expressing an opinion — it’s focused on actions or comments that materially damage the sport.

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“We have specifically discussed this in meetings with teams, drivers, and stakeholders.”

It is also added that this puts NASCAR in line with other professional sports leagues, as the NFL and NBA do the same thing.

Though is this the right thing to do?

Criticism is something that should be welcomed. It’s always said that people should be able to take negativity to therefore be able to improve in the future. With NASCAR putting this in force, are they going against this rule?

Also, it was criticism that was brought against the sport that brought force some of the rule changes.

Racing back to the caution was taken away as a result of criticism after a race at New Hampshire with regard to how Dale Jarrett’s car was sitting on the track.

Double-file restarts were brought forth this year as a result of criticism towards the lack of good, hard racing on restarts.

The Car of Tomorrow was brought forth as a result of criticism towards the safety of the cars.

These are three big things that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for criticism against the sport.

Also on in their community section, Poston wrote a blog post with regards to what was going on – titled: “Working Together For The Good of the Sport”.

One of the comments he makes in his blog post is, “No business owner would permit employees, vendors, or partners to damage their business – nor can we. It is the sanctioning body’s obligation on behalf of the entire industry to protect the brand, just like every other major sport.”

That is true in most cases; however, wouldn’t a company want to know why they were doing badly and how they could improve? If I was a manager for a company, I’d be welcome to comments so therefore I could improve my business. Therefore in reflecting back to NASCAR, they need the comments from the drivers to therefore they can stay at the top of their game.

Though what I find even bigger than just the “criticism needed” aspect that I’ve touched, is by limiting what people can say, aren’t you taking away their right to freedom of speech?

Freedom of speech is something that we’ve worked on building on and in this simple step, it’s slowly being taken away.

So if you bring out the scale and way the options, what’s better to have breached? Have a couple of bad comments or be known for breaking freedom of speech? I’d think the couple of bad comments as by breaking freedom of speech, you’re apt to make more people mad.

I do understand that the argument is that comments can be hurtful, but they may only last in the media for a week or two. Also, like stated earlier, they can also be helpful. Though breaking a right to every human being and letting that be shown, in my opinion, I think that’d do more damage.

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