Understanding the mandated apology, modern SEC rules and the lack of fines – The times have changed…
“I beat the front bumper all to hell today, it’s still there. It don’t mean shit right now. Daddy’s done won here 10 times. I gotta do a little bit more winnin’.” Dale Earnhardt Jr stated from victory lane on October 3, 2004 as he won his 5th race at Talladega Superspeedway.
That little 4 letter word offered a return of big fines. For words alone, Dale Earnhardt Jr was docked 25 Nextel Cup points. In addition, he was fined $10,000 or $2,500 per letter.
“This is a huge setback for the entire company. We’re facing a setback from the competition standpoint for something that should be considered a personal foul. We’ve had hundreds of calls from fans that support us. Our sponsors have vowed their support, as well,” Dale Earnhardt Inc stated back in 2004.
Also in 2004, Johnny Sauter said “shit” in an interview at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He was docked 25 NASCAR Busch Series points and also fined $10,000.
13 years later, we live in a different world. On Sunday at Martinsville Speedway, tempers were high. As a result, during live coverage some explicitness reached the airwaves.
It was complete bullshit, chaos
“Everybody wrecked everyone there at the end. It was complete bullshit, chaos,” Denny Hamlin stated in his post race interview with NBC Sports.
The same word from 13 years ago was used in a broadcast to millions. This time, no fine was handed to Denny Hamlin. I give NASCAR props on that modern direction.
But why has NASCAR relaxed on the fines for NASCAR explicitives? Because the SEC has relaxed.
“While not condoned-no penalty. Reason for past penalties was an SEC tv violation that was mandated. No longer the case,” Steve O’Donnell responds to a fan question on twitter.
NASCAR TV required to apologize for curse words
“And once again we will apologize for the language. This is a live sporting event and you can see the emotion,” Rick Allen stated on behalf of NBC following Denny Hamlin’s interview.
I feel frustrated every time I hear that. It appears, just because the SEC has caught up to the real world, that doesn’t mean the rulebook at NBC has. Each time one of the 7 dirty words blasts across the air you can count on a dulling, buzz kill apology from Rick Allen.
But, apparently that’s not Allen’s decision at all. This week, NBC hype announcer Rick Allen was asked if he was required to apologize in those situations. He responded simply, “Yes.” So, Allen is only the messenger. All this time, my frustration has been incorrectly directed at Rick.
Dale Earnhardt Jr caught wind of this response as well. He stated, “I did not know this.”
What I find most interesting is that NASCAR also uploaded Denny Hamlin’s post-race interview to YouTube. The internet is mostly a beautifully crafted, censorship-free place. Not so much in terms of visuals but certainly in terms of free-speech.
Yet, NASCAR went through the trouble of clipping Denny Hamlin’s actual statement. Though, I’m sure that comes at the editing discretion of NBC. After all, they are the owners of the video clip. But, it’s the wrong move!
For the sake of the culture, leave the emotion in there. Erasing or changing the documentation of history is frowned upon in this society. I do praise NASCAR for their lack of fines. I’m disappointed in the historical clips.
On behalf of the human race, I encourage you not to treat the entirety of viewers, collectively as babies. These kids grow up on the internet, they’ve heard it all. NBC, you’re not saving anyone.
“Censorship is like telling a man he can’t have a steak, just because a baby can’t chew it.” -Mark Twain