Petty: NASCAR is not a sport for women

NASCAR is about to pay for not having some common sense, specifically in reference to how the sport responded to Richard Petty's comments in 2006 that NASCAR is not a sport for women.

Now, I'm not comparing his comments to the blatant racist and sexist charges levied by former Nationwide official Mauricia Grant. But why didn't Brian France, Mike Helton, Jim Hunter, anybody, come out with a strong rebuke of Petty's comments?

Sure, he's entitled to his opinion. But his argument, that the past record of female drivers proved they couldn't cut it, was ludicrous. No woman had been in a top-tier ride and given the time to succeed, so the report card was incomplete. Why the hell do you think the Drive for Diversity started?

And don't you think, after NASCAR refused to shout down Petty, that those in the garage with much blacker souls maybe felt emboldened? Isn't it possible that they saw NASCAR refusing to deal with a notable elder statesman's backwards comments and felt secure that their boorish behavior would be overlooked as well?

You can print out HR manuals all day with "zero tolerance" references, but it makes no difference if the real-world culture doesn't match up to those stated standards. When NASCAR refused to slap Petty on the wrist, it at least contributed to a culture that led to this mess. You reap what you sow. Long Island Press

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