An Iowa freeway announcer has been fired after launching a racist rant against black athletes and fans who kneel during the national anthem.
Kossuth County Speedway in Algona, Iowa, said comments made by the announcer ahead of the July 15 races “weren’t OK, and it won’t happen again.”
The announcer, whose identity has not been confirmed, told the crowd he wanted to make a “social service announcement” before the national anthem, The Associated Press reported.
He condemned those who âwill not defend our flagâ or who âkneelâ during the hymn.
âI have four words for you: find another country if you don’t,â he said. “Get out of the dodge.”
Cheers were audible in the crowd as he spoke.
The announcer added that he was outraged that the NFL apparently considered playing the Black national anthem ahead of games this season “for these people, I guess the darker skin color, I’ll just say, blacks.”
âThey want a different national anthem and the NFL is thinking about doing it,â he said. “I’m just saying turn off the televisions and let them play in front of no one.”
The speedway did not name the announcer or respond to a request for his name. But Fairmont Raceway in Fairmont, Minnesota, identified it on its Facebook page as its longtime advertiser, Lon Oelke.
The announcer’s comments were broadcast on FloRacing, which broadcasts live racing events. FloRacing said in a statement Thursday that it had removed the broadcast of the event and that “the opinions and language of the advertiser do not reflect our core values ââor have a place on our platform.”
A video of the racist comments posted on Twitter was later removed.
In a statement, Kossuth County Speedway said its management did not hear the remarks when they were made and that they were only brought to their attention through a social media post. earlier Thursday.
The speedway said the man who made the comments was replacing its primary announcer and would not be employed for future track events.
âKossuth County Speedway is eager to prove to our fans, drivers and crews that we can and will do better. “
However, Fairmont Raceway promoter Jon McCorkell wrote that Mr. Oelke would âabsolutely announceâ the races on Friday night and receive a standing ovation before the national anthem.
Mr McCorkell added that he agreed “with all of Lon’s comments and opinions”.
The National Racing Network, which broadcasts speedway meetings, issued a statement disavowing Mr McCorkell for his support for an “openly racist commentator.”
âIf you support what has been said, if you feel the need to direct the negativity against FloRacing or the lead that disowned their comments, do us a favor and stop following and unlike our social channels.
âThere is no place for hate, racism or bigotry in our sport. We don’t want you as a fan. We don’t want your money or your support. people feel at ease in the stands and watch our content.
A phone number listed for Mr. Oelke was disconnected and he did not immediately respond to a request sent by the Associated press via Facebook Messenger.
The Associated Press contributed reporting.