An Iowa race track has fired an announcer who went on a racist tirade against Black fans and athletes who kneeled during the playing of the national anthem.
One race track announcer at Kossuth County Speedway lost it and blasted kneeling during the national anthem as something done for people of “darker-toned” skin color, Des Moines Register reports. The race track opted out of releasing the announcer’s name.
But he proudly took to the loudspeaker to complain about kneeling during the national anthem and called out the NFL for choosing to play the Black national anthem for Black fans and athletes. Despite the blatant racism the announcer displayed, a number of people in the crowd were heard cheering him on.
“for those folks, I guess the darker toned skin color, I’ll just say, Blacks,” the announcer said. “They want a different national anthem and the NFL is thinking about doing it. I just say shut the TVs off and let them play in front of nobody.”
On Thursday, July 15, 2021, the race track revealed that the racist comments were made by a “fill-in track announcer” that the speedway “will no longer be employing the individual who made those comments.”
“Unless you are sitting in the stands (which track management is not), the public address system is not easily heard,” the statement said. “Kossuth County Speedway and the Kossuth County Fair Board do not condone the comments made by the fill-in announcer. We do not tolerate discrimination at our racing events and welcome race fans of all color, gender, religion, and creed to join our racing family.”
The Fairmont Raceway in Fairmont, Minnesota has since identified the announcer on its Facebook page as their longtime track announcer, Lon Oelke. Not only did the Minnesota raceway’s promoter Jon McCorkell say that Oelke will “absolutely be announcing” their races on Friday night, but added that he would receive a standing ovation going into the national anthem.
McCorkell noted that he agreed “with all of Lon’s comments and opinions” with others chiming in with their support.