ALGONA, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa race track said Thursday it will cut ties with an announcer who launched a racist spiel against black fans and athletes who kneel during the national anthem in protest against racial inequality.
Kossuth County Speedway in Algona, Iowa, said its leaders “do not tolerate” comments made by the announcer before the July 15 races, but called them an isolated incident. The circuit did not name the announcer or respond to a request for his name.
The highway and county fair board said their administration did not listen to the announcer’s comments when he said them, and that they only caught his attention through a social media post early Thursday.
In its statement, the highway said the man who made the comments was filling in for its main announcer and would not be employed at any future track events.
“It was not good and it will not happen again,” the statement said. “Kossuth County Speedway looks forward to showing our fans, drivers and teams that we can and will do better.”
The announcer’s comments were broadcast on FloRacing, which offers live broadcasts of racing events.
In video posted Thursday on Twitter, the announcer told the crowd that he wanted to make “a social service announcement” before the national anthem. He condemned those who “do not defend our flag” or “kneel” during the anthem.
“I have four words for you: find a different country if you don’t,” he said. “Get out of dodging hell.”
At that moment, cheers can be heard from the crowd. The announcer added that he was outraged that the NFL is considering playing the Black national anthem before this season’s games “for those people, I guess darker skin tone, I’ll just say black.”
“They want a different national anthem and the NFL is thinking about doing it,” he said. “I’m just saying turn off the televisions and let them play in front of anyone.”