It’s very rare for an athlete or sports personality to say something that comes across as incredibly insensitive or offensive and then own up to it or offer an excuse that actually makes sense. Most of the time, a guy will either claim that he was hacked if the offensive comment was a Tweet or Facebook post, because we’re all stupid, obviously, or he’ll claim that he was taken out of context and there’s a huge media conspiracy against him, even though the quote is right there, staring us in our big, dumb faces. In Richard Petty’s case, it seems he falls into that rare group.
Petty stopped by SportsCenter yesterday to talk about, among other things, his quote about Danica Patrick from the Canadian Motorsports Expo in Toronto two weekends ago, and when asked about his claim that Patrick could only win if all of the other drivers stayed home, he made a pretty good point.
“Where I’m coming from, if her name had been Patrick, nobody would have ever blinked an eye. So somebody’s making something out of something that’s not there… I didn’t think anything about it. Like I said, if I had named a male, nobody would have said anything.”
And he’s right again. People made a big deal about it (and smartasses like me made fun of it) because he was talking about a woman, and I’m sure he could have said the same thing about any other number of drivers. Sometimes we get so excited to pounce all over the hot sprots taeks that we don’t bother to think that maybe, just maybe, the guy with the awesome mustache and cowboy hat is smarter than all of us.
But it’s not just us people with keyboards that took it seriously. While Patrick admitted that she simply takes comments like this and uses them as fuel, her teammate Tony Stewart had a much more colorful idea to settle this spat.
“I think that (a race) would pretty much settle it once and for all, maybe get him to shut up a little bit, too,” Stewart said. “I will supply the cars. If he wants to race her, I’ll make sure they have exactly the same setup in the car and give him the chance. He can drive one of my 14 cars. I don’t care.”
And if Patrick were to win the race, Stewart said, “If I were her, I’d take (the checkered flag) over there and cram it up his (butt).” (Via ESPN)
I would pay a lot of money to see that actually. Mainly because I like to imagine that Petty’s mustache would curl up like a party favor, and then a country bear in overalls would stumble out of the bushes and say something like, “That ain’t the way to Chattanooga!” and we’d all laugh.