NASCAR has gone through a lot in recent weeks. From fake news to a fake noose, the sport has had to endure things it has never experienced before. Some have been down on NASCAR after the Bubba Wallace saga, kneeling pit crew members, and fabricated stories about drivers and fans alike. But, don’t fret racing buffs, there’s still plenty of patriotism in the company. Two drivers, in particular, are all about the red, white, and blue, as well as the Blue.
While Wallace recently raced in a car emblazoned with ‘Black Lives Matter’, other drivers have featured much different messages. Up-and-comer Kyle Weatherman was the man behind the wheel of a car showcasing two extremely powerful designs. Earlier this month, his No. 47 Chevrolet featured the words #StandfortheFlag and ‘We Stand For The National Anthem’ while colored in red, white and blue. Repairables.com proudly sponsored the paint scheme. In June, at the Homestead, Florida event, the 47 car had a large American flag on it with a blue line painted across the hood of the vehicle, showing support for police. It also displayed “Back the Blue”. Mike Harmon Racing called it the #ThinBlueLine paint scheme.
Weatherman is proud to drive the car. “It was Mike Harmon’s idea, but yes, I absolutely support this message,” Weatherman told Sarah Palin dot com. “I have a lot of family and friends that are cops and millions of others that I don’t know, that are good and help keep us safe.” Weatherman raced in that design again just last week.
The 22-year old Wentzville, Missouri native has been racing since he was eight, and he’s been a supporter of law enforcement even longer. “I hope we can keep this message going for a long time because, like I said, I definitely support and stand behind this message,” said Weatherman.
As far as possible backlash for being so unabashedly pro-police in these tumultuous times, Weatherman is undaunted. “Whether they supported it or not I was going to let it be,” he said. “It’s something strong in my heart and I will always go with what I feel is right. We have got a lot of support from this message.”
Support, indeed. Good wishes have been pouring in from all over the country. “We’ve heard both sides for sure, but it’s absolutely amazing the support we have got from this on the car and the message we are sending to back the blue,” Weatherman said. “So many officers have reached out to us and it’s absolutely awesome and amazing to know the lives I have affected in a positive way. That is my goal in life and with racing is to reach others in a positive way and make others happy. The MHR director has received well over 700 emails alone from various police officers, retired police, police departments, families and widows of the fallen sharing their personal stories and praise for helping them through this time in our country. Every day more and more emails and messages are being sent, it has been truly amazing.”
Mike Harmon Racing has proudly and loudly backed law enforcement in recent days. In a statement, the team said, ‘Mike Harmon Racing supports our LEO’s and First Responders, we THANK YOU for your service, sacrifice and dedication’.
Weatherman is not alone in his support for our brave men and women in blue. Angela Ruch has also been on the frontline when it comes to defending those who defend all of us. The NASCAR truck series star partnered with The Wounded Blue this past weekend to proudly represent police officers all over the United States. Ruch’s No. 00 truck was decked out in an amazing design at the Kentucky Speedway.
Ruch’s Chevrolet Silverado featured a #BackTheBlue theme, including The Wounded Blue’s logo and motto, “Never Alone, Never Forgotten.”, with the popular “The Blue Line” American flag, and a message on the rear bumper to “Support Our Police”. Ruch covered all the bases.
“Frontline first responders and law enforcement officers are out there on the front lines every day,” Ruch told Sarah Palin dot com. “Whether it’s running into the towers on Nine Eleven, or helping countless Americans during the COVID-19 crisis, or simply intervening to help victims of crimes in progress. Even before the unrest in this country, frontline officers have been getting beaten, stabbed, shot, run over by cars, and many of them get little support once they’re injured in the line of duty. I felt it was important to let them know we stand with them in their service.”
Very, very few in the world of sports are offering such support to our officers. Ruch is showing gratitude and courage that we are not seeing at all from the overwhelming majority of the NFL or NBA. Perhaps the players in those sports don’t have an understanding of the issues or the commonsense of Ruch. One can be appalled by what happed to George Floyd AND support police at the same time.
“This isn’t a binary choice,” Ruch said. “You don’t support one, at the expense of the other. I myself have a bi-racial child, whom I adopted as a baby. This isn’t about race for us. In fact, statistics show that law enforcement protects these minority communities. This is about the rank and file man or woman on the front lines, protecting and serving every day. It’s important to let them know we stand with them, too.”
— Kyle Weatherman (@KyleWeatherman) July 4, 2020
While almost all of the NFL and NBA, and much of MLB and other sports are constantly praising Colin Kaepernick, apologizing for something, or pushing a false narrative, Ruch is showing actual courage. The weak men of the NFL and NBA should take note from this powerhouse of a woman.
“I understand that not everyone feels comfortable speaking out right now, however, right now in this country, frontline officers are going through what our veterans went through when they came home from the Vietnam War,” Ruch said. “They were screamed at and spat on. I think it’s important to draw distinctions between policy you may not like, there are procedures to change those policies, like legislation, and the frontline men and women who are out there every day.”
While the big team sports ‘heroes’ are at worst, completely bashing our police at every turn, or at best, remaining silent while our officers and flag are under constant attack, patriots like Weatherman and Ruch are letting America’s true heroes know we love them.
“My support will raise awareness of the issues these men and women face every day,” said Ruch. “From being hit by cars during routine traffic stops, to being shot in the face such as Officer Johnson during what was supposed to be a routine traffic stop, or being wounded while trying to stop a robbery in progress, or to protect a small business, and more, we appreciate them. There’s no end to what these guys suffer. Our support of The Wounded Blue will help provide medical appointments, CT Scans, X-rays, TeleMed appointments, COVID-19 tests for anyone exposed on-the-job, confidential PTSD counseling, and more.”
We have @PeoriaPoliceAZ police officers Jason “JJ” Judd riding with us today. 🙏🏻 Also have @TJHproject @CharlieDaniels riding with us on our car this weekend here @KySpeedway @NASCAR_Xfinity @NASCAR 🙏🏻🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/mlP90ciZcZ
— Kyle Weatherman (@KyleWeatherman) July 9, 2020
Ruch’s words and actions are actually helping real people. No protest or riot will do that. Taking a knee won’t either. But taking a stand will.
NASCAR has bungled a lot lately. Now, there’s talk of a potential ban on ‘political sponsorships’. There’s also word that Facebook, which airs the reality TV show that Ruch stars in, “The Ruch Life,” is considering pulling the plug on her program, citing that she has “alienated a percentage of Facebook users” with her decision to support the police. Unlike most pro athletes, threats don’t scare Ruch. She’s standing firm. She is not pulling a Mike Gundy.
So, while many fans are ready to turn off the leagues and athletes they have supported for years, it’s comforting to know some in the world of sports still have a backbone. Some are still standing tall.
While LeBron James and Megan Rapinoe continue to rant about how awful America is, and Drew Brees and JJ Watt continue to capitulate, two NASCAR drivers are emerging as actual American patriots. Kyle Weatherman and Angela Ruch are the best of the best. They’re true blue.
Follow Kevin Scholla on Twitter @kevinscholla