Entertainment And News

Why NASCAR Driver Brandon Brown Is Being Punished For 'Let's Go Brandon' Catchphrase

Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Zach Catanzareti Photo, CC BY 2.0
brandon brown nascar

After winning a race at Talladega, NASCAR driver Brandon Brown was being interviewed by sports commentator Kelli Stavast on NBC to talk about his stellar performance. Then, the crowd started to go wild.

“F*** Joe Biden!” is what they yelled while Brown responded to Stavast in the best possible manner without giving the crowd any attention, before Stavast herself responded.

Now, Brandon Brown is struggling to hold onto any sponsorship because of the viral slogan.

Stavast tried, as a reporter with a reputable news station, to divert the nonsense of the crowd, saying during the broadcast that fans were chanting “Let’s go Brandon!” and even told Brown that that’s what they were yelling.

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Brown, who had just won his very first race and was basking in all the glory, didn’t even hear the chants from the crowd and continued the interview without paying it any mind — even though the damage had already been done.

The fake chant quickly became the conservative catchphrase and a rallying cry for those who are against President Joe Biden.

So much so that during the president’s NORAD Santa Tracker call, a parent used the line while on the phone.

“Let’s go Brandon, I agree,” said President Biden, who likely either didn’t understand what the catchphrase meant at the moment, or was trained in procedures to defuse the situation.

The 28-year-old racecar driver, however, claims that the new catchphrase is actually hurting his career and his relationship with any potential sponsorships and business partners.

“It got extremely difficult for us,” Brown told Sports Business Journal. “If you’re a national corporation, that means you sell to all consumers... and unfortunately, when you get dragged into the political arena, people want you to take a side.”

During a political climate as divisive and tension-filled as the current one — following the presidency of Donald Trump and a large conservative pushback — it’s hard to remain politically neutral as a corporation that is trying to maximize profits by setting the demographic to people of all political alignments.

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“I’ve never been put in a position where it’s, ‘OK, what side are you on? Left or right?’,” Brown continued. “So it’s hard for a brand to want to attach to somebody who might be kind of divisive in their consumer base.”

If corporations decided that they wanted to sponsor the racecar driver, consumers would likely ask questions about that corporation’s political alignment and then boycott their products if they feel passionate enough about it.

“If I’m going to divide Coca-Cola, why would they want to talk to me?” he explained. “So the short answer is it’s been tough to connect with partnerships just because it’s kind of viewed as a ticking time bomb: ‘What is he [g]oing to choose or say and how would that affect our consumer base?’ It’s too much of a risk. I understand it on their side but it’s made it really hard to tie everything down.”

Brown recently did an interview with the New York Times where he spoke about his thoughts on politics and his political affiliation — saying that while he is Republican, he doesn’t focus on politics at all.

“Our whole navigation is, you want to appeal to everybody, because, all in all, everybody is a consumer,” Brown said. “I have zero desire to be involved in politics.”

Brown now spends his time on Twitter trying to avoid the catchphrase altogether, and even joked about it solely being about him and other people named Brandon.

“Racing at 200 miles per hour doesn't give me a lot of time to think about politics,” he wrote in an op-ed for Newsweek. “And even if it did, I have always preferred the roar of the engine to the roar of my voice.”

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.