By: MADISON MCCARTHY / SPORTS CO-EDITOR
If you've been anywhere in the United States over the past year you’ve heard the infamous “Let’s, go Brandon” chant. However, there is a bigger loser in the origin story of the slogan and it is not President Biden.
On October 12th, 2021, NASCAR Xfinity driver Brandon Brown won his first race in the series.
While being interviewed post-race, NASCAR pit reporter Kelli Stavast, mistook the crowd’s “F*** Joe Biden” as “Let’s Go Brandon”. The misinterpreted chant now sells millions of dollars in the form of apparel, flags, and the infamous bumper sticker.
In an attempt to separate himself from the controversy, Brown said in an op-ed with Newsweek: “All the advice I got from those around my racing career was to stay quiet after that now-famous interview. No one knew how my sponsors would react and, in my world, there is no car to drive without the sponsors.”
Brown also emphasized that he is a race car driver and not a politician.
“I have no interest in leading some political fight. I race cars. I am not going to endorse anyone, and I am certainly not going to tell anyone how to vote.”
However, Brandon accepted sponsorship from “Let’s Go Brandon Coin," a new crypto currency that came on the scene.
His team got the paint scheme possible with funding from LGB. However, the sanctioning body walked back the approval when the team announced the sponsorship on social media. Per the NASCAR rule book:
“NASCAR may refuse to permit a competitor to participate in an event if NASCAR determines that any advertising, sponsorship or similar agreement to which the competitor is or will be a party, is detrimental to the sport, to NASCAR, Series Sponsor or to the promoter for any reason, including without limitation, the public image of the sport.”
Sponsorship is key to every NASCAR driver’s journey, particularly when you are racing for a small family-owned team like Brown.
After the now-defunct cryptocurrency did not provide the team with the funding needed to run a full season, Brown was forced to step out of his No. 68 Chevrolet. He explained on social media: “I regret to confirm the news that I will not be piloting the No. 68 Chevrolet Camaro for Brandonbilt Motorsport (BMS) next weekend at the Indy Road Course, this was a collective decision made between myself and the team, and solely relates to the lack of sponsorship funding that is needed for me to compete each weekend.”
After announcing that he will not race at Indy, Brown also released a statement explaining that he does not have funding for the next race of the season. The lack of sponsorship is now halting Brown's career.
“As of right now, with all the "no’s" that I’ve got in my sponsorship corner, I got to say that it looks like there will be other drivers driving the No. 68,” Brown told Dalton Hopkins of frontstretch.com.
This means that even after being ridiculed by the majority of the country, Brown cannot secure the funding needed for his racing career. After all the debate and controversy Brandon is the only one truly losing. Losing his funding but more importantly losing his dream of growing with the team he knows and loves.
To add to the LGB Coin scandal, the company is now the subject of a class action lawsuit in Florida.
Corrado Rizzi of ClassAction.com reported that a “…class action lawsuit that alleges the creators of the “meme coin” and several others have misleadingly promoted the cryptocurrency asset in order to artificially inflate its value before selling their portions for personal gain.”
The lawsuit not only names Brown himself, but it also names several conservative political figures and NASCAR. Adding to Brown's tarnished image, a lawsuit does not make gaining more sponsorship an easy task. The lawsuit alleges the company used the sponsorship to mislead the public.
Rizzi also reported that according to the lawsuit, "the reality of the LGB token is that its creators’ entire business model hinges on political marketing and promotional activities, often from ‘celebrities’ and political pundits, to trick regular investors into believing that the asset will make them wealthy ‘while at the same time supposedly supporting American values.’”
Given the current political climate it is really no surprise that things turned out this way.
As a fan of the sport, underfunded drivers like Brown do not seem to be the type of people to knowingly “scam” hardworking people of their money. However, society seems to automatically judge a person as good or bad based on their politics.
This not only left Brown in a horrible situation, but also plagues America in everyday life. We forget that there are real people behind the screen of social media, that are more than the politicians they support. Once we learn to stop judging people on viewpoints we can start believing in the content of our individual character.
If you own a company or know someone looking to help out Brandon, please visit his website and learn about Brandon Brown the person, who is more than just a chant.