Matthew Crowder hopes that Danica Patrick’s haters will keep their mouths shut, so his daughter’s dreams aren’t dashed.
NASCAR, one of my favorite sports, recently started its new season in Daytona, Florida. One of the biggest stories coming out of NASCAR right now has been Danica Patrick’s full time NASCAR career. Up until now she has been an Indy car driver, and with some degree of success. Most of the coverage of Danica has been positive, but unfortunately, there have been some that have chosen to go ugly in their commentary.
CBSnews.com highlights a few such ugly incidents. Fox 5’s Ross Shimabuku was suspended after the NASCAR driver complained during a clip that female athletes like her are described as “sexy.” Shimabuku responded by saying: “Oh, I’ve got a few words. Starts with a `B’, and it’s not `beautiful.’ ”
According to the New York Daily News, Rush Limbaugh also stepped over the line with sexist remarks:
‘She said, ‘I leave it up to the government to make good decisions for America.’ … What do you expect from a woman driver? I don’t know why everybody was so shocked,’ Limbaugh said.”
I am all for freedom of speech, it’s one of the hallmarks of American society that I as a Soldier protect. Where it goes wrong is where people use their position in the media or in society as a platform to spew ignorant hateful things like this.
I see Ms.Patrick as both a race car driver and a woman. When she puts on her fire suit and straps into the car she is no different than the other 42 drivers on the track. Granted, since she is a woman she has a great deal more publicity than any one else. Whether good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I see it as a great thing not only for the sport, but for other girls out there watching her. My daughter Amarah usually doesn’t care about car racing because she thinks it’s boring, but if I tell her Danica is racing she sits right next to me watching.
Ms. Patrick shouldn’t be dismissed as a “woman driver”. She should be seen as a role model for all young women and girls that there isn’t a limit. If you are passionate about something and work hard at it you can do it. As a dad there are a lot of things I can teach my daughter, but what I can’t do it be a good female role model for my daughter. Danica Patrick is one woman who can, and I am thankful for it.
As men we need to make sure to watch what we say. If you have opinions like those in the article, do everyone a favor and either change your opinion or keep your mouth shut. Our daughters don’t need to hear it and be discouraged because of your short-sightedness.
Photo: AP/Rainier Ehrhardt