We all know how much the job and fans mean to NASCAR drivers and after accidentally killing a fellow driver, 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr., on the track, Stewart was faced with a hard decision. As he was in NY to compete in an official NASCAR Race in Watkins Glen, he had to decide on what to do – either not race in respect of the family, or race for the fans who came out to see him.
Unfortunately for him, it seems the mainstream media did a good job at making his decision for him.
Immediately after the accident, the mainstream media came out with a flurry of attacks against Stewart saying it was avoidable and there may have been some criminal intent involved, either way, the facts weren’t out yet. As he and his team were recovering from the tragedy and still regaining their bearings, Stewart-Haas Racing competition director Greg Zipadelli came out and said “We’re business as usual today.”
(See also: Sheriff Speaks Out About NASCAR’s Stewart)
Of course, instead of the media looking at it as he had a job to do and an obligation to his fans, they were shining a big ol’ light on the fact that his decision to race was being construed as insensitive. Before long, the public’s opinion evolved into such hatred for Stewart he was forced to pull out of the race that could have won him a spot in the Sprint Cup.
What do you guys think – was this fair of the mainstream media? Should Stewart have made this decision by himself anyways out of respect for the deceased family? Or should he have just been able to race? Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.