Fact check: NASCAR will not do away with opening prayer, national anthem

Black Lives Matter

The claim: NASCAR is going to stop having prayer and the national anthem at its events.

It’s going around Facebook that NASCAR is spinning its wheels on that slippery slope: Now that it has outlawed Confederate battle flags from its events, it is going to eliminate prayer and the national anthem, too.

This post is typed as a shouting tantrum (all upper case) and claims to be written by a man who called corporate headquarters in Charlotte where he was informed of this.

“This was directly from NASCAR,” John Savage claims.

More:NASCAR’s road ahead after noose investigation anything but straightforward

Opening with prayers for safety

While it is common for professional sports to play the national anthem, NASCAR is the only professional sports event that opens with a prayer for the safety of its drivers at the start of every race.

Bleacher Report, in 2009, ran an article by Sal Sigala Jr. on the prayer:

“NASCAR believe it or not, is the only sport that utilizes public prayer and televises it before each race; asking for that extra hand of protection upon the drivers, fans, and those involved with the sport.”

Recent changes

NASCAR has turned away from some of its traditions. No Confederate flag is allowed now at events, and NASCAR has also agreed to allow its employees to take a knee when the anthem is played.

In an official statement NASCAR said, “We live in a country of unparalleled freedoms and liberties, including the right to peacefully express one’s opinion.”

Some drivers support the move, including Dale Earnhardt Jr.

NASCAR official Kirk Price became the first man to take a knee during the anthem at a NASCAR event.

Asked directly about the national anthem rumor via email, NASCAR Digital Media replied, “Concerning the situation of the National Anthem, NASCAR has not released any official statement that they will do away with the National Anthem. I advise to be wary of fake posts and rumors on all social media platforms.”

As to the question of prayer, NASCAR Digital stated, “Concerning the situation of the prayer, NASCAR has not released any official statement that they will do away with the prayer. The prayer and the national anthem still stands.”

Our rating: False

We rate the claim that NASCAR will stop having prayer and the national anthem at its events as FALSEbecause it was not supported by our research. At least for the forseeable future, NASCAR will continue to bless its racing fleet and let the “rockets red glare” — in song at least — before its racing events.

Our fact check sources:

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