Hey NASCAR, Banging A Woman’s Head Against The Wall Is A Reason To Put The Car In Park

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On Friday, Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) called NASCAR out on their hypocrisy, charging that they only seem to enforce the rules when the misconduct is caught on camera. She asked the organization,  ”How is it that NASCAR can take action when a reporter is threatened, and not when a woman is physically assaulted?”

Speier called on NASCAR to suspend driver Kurt Busch after court documents revealed charges of assaulting his intimate partner, smashing her head against a wall repeatedly. Two years ago, Busch was suspended for merely threatening a male reporter – on camera.

In a letter sent to the President of NASCAR Mike Helton and co-owners of Mr. Busch’s racing team Stewart-Haas Racing Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, the Democratic Congresswoman demanded that NASCAR take a stance on violence against women by suspending the driver until the investigation is complete. Her letter reads in part:

“NASCAR would rather let Mr. Busch drive for the remainder of the racing season than take a stance on violence against women,” said Speier. “While he rounds the track, the legal processes for his domestic violence charges race forward as well. Until his legal proceedings end, NASCAR should put Mr. Busch’s car in park. The charges are horrifying, and NASCAR’s inaction sends a clear signal to drivers that owners do not take these violent actions seriously.

“This isn’t the first time that Mr. Busch’s anger management issues have been brought to NASCAR’s attention: he was suspended after threatening a reporter there in June 2012. How is it that NASCAR can take action when a reporter is threatened, and not when a woman is physically assaulted? It calls into question the enforcement policies exercised by NASCAR and whether their code of conduct has a double standard. Do they only punish misconduct caught on camera?”

Justin Baragona detailed the allegations for Politicus Sports:

Police in Delaware are currently investigating NASCAR driver Kurt Busch over an alleged incident where it is claimed that he choked his ex-girlfriend and slammed her head into a wall. Patricia Driscoll, Busch’s ex, filed a statement with the Dover Police Department on Wednesday and claims that the incident occurred on September 26th at Dover International Speedway. Driscoll claims that Busch was verbally abusive towards her after having a poor qualifying run and it later became physical. Court documents that Driscoll filed shows that she is requesting Busch not be allowed near her and that he also be required to undergo a psychological examination.

 

Here’s the 2012 incident where Busch threatened a male reporter on camera:

So, this is not okay with NASCAR:

 

The suspension stemmed from Busch’s comments toward Sporting News reporter Bob Pockrass following Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway. Busch had been asked about racing hard against Justin Allgaier and whether being on probation caused him to exercise on-track restraint.

Busch responded, “It refrains me from not beating the (expletive) out of you right now, because you ask me stupid questions. But since I’m on probation, I suppose that that’s improper to say as well.”

 

But the suggestion of this is okay with NASCAR:

Driscoll said Busch, 36, called her names and accused her of “having spies everywhere and having a camera on the bus to watch him.” He then jumped up, grabbed her face and smashed her head three times against the wall next to the bed, Driscoll says in the documents.

 

Busch claims that his ex girlfriend made up these allegations in order to get money from him. However, Patricia Driscoll doesn’t appear to be hurting for money. According to Wikipedia, she runs (ironically)  ”a private security and surveillance company…  For the intelligence community and the Department of Defense.” She’s been given special recognition by President George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and more. In addition, she heads a charity called the Armed Forces Foundation, for which she has appeared on Fox News.

Busch’s history is littered with “incidents” in which he argues with police officers, is belligerent with reporters, and more. It’s not as if it’s a stretch. Busch feels so entitled to behave violently without repercussion that he felt there was little risk in threatening a male reporter on camera. Imagine how he might be when the cameras are off and the person he’s angry with doesn’t have the power of a media empire behind her.

NASCAR responded by insinuating that Bush’s ex girlfriend Patricia Driscoll is a liar by saying, “(T)here’s two sides to every story.” Apparently only one side gets the benefit of the doubt.  But also, no. There are not two sides to reality. Three women a day dying from an assault by an intimate partner is not a “side” to a story. It’s reality. And they don’t ever get to tell their “side”, because they are dead.

This is the kind of statement that enables violence against women by perpetrating the idea that assaulting another person is the result of a “volatile relationship” rather than an abusive personality. Most people in relationships have fights, get angry, and say stupid things. But most men do not shove their girlfriend’s head into the wall as a result.

Speier is one of the lone voices in Congress speaking out against the cavalier way in which our sports culture condones and enables acts of violence against women. In September, she sent a letter to the NFL and five NFL teams asking them to change their policies to suspension until investigations are completed for players accused of assaulting an intimate partner. Speier is sadly no stranger to violence; she was shot five times while leaving Guyana, as part of then Congressman Leo Ryan’s investigation of the People’s Temple in Jonestown. Martina Castro writing for KALW News noted that their fact finding mission ended in  “bloodshed and the death of Congressman Ryan.”

That is the ugly truth behind acts of violence. They sometimes end in death. In the US, three women a day die from an act of violence perpetrated against them by an intimate partner. With statistics like this, the sports world should be sending a firm message backed up by a no tolerance policy. Imagine if the positive role models (and there are many of them) got the rewards while the abusers paid a price for their actions. It would be a different world.

Hey NASCAR,  banging a woman’s head into the wall three times is a reason to park that car. Consider this a #brotip.

20 Replies to “Hey NASCAR, Banging A Woman’s Head Against The Wall Is A Reason To Put The Car In Park”

  1. When good ol boys do it, the public just shrugs and say they are two sides to every story. Talk about privilege

  2. The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) has been very vocal about their support for “No More Silence. No More Violence.” (nomore.org) while hypocritically calling for the immediate reinstatement of suspended, self-confessed and convicted child abuser Adrian Peterson.

    Both the NFLPA and NASCAR seem to condone exemption of offenses if the act of misconduct is not caught on camera.

    Outta site, outta mind is not the way to address violence against the innocent, regardless of the celebrity status of the abuser or the age, gender, or anything else of the abused.

  3. No excuse for this. Kurt isnt making NASCAR any money and is just going to drag them down. The average male fan wont really care and NASCAR knows it

  4. If Busch is guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, I hope he gets the book thrown at him. However, I don’t subscribe to the “Guilty without a Trial” form of “Justice.”

  5. I happened to blunder into the comment section of an article in Smithsonian Magazine. It was stuffed -primarily- with virulent misogyny, and secondarily with racism. Until this century, even an ordinary publication, let alone one of any scientific or academic standing, would have barred this kind of commentary. In this case, verbal brownshirts had bullied all serious posters, and the one woman who dared say anything was swiftly silenced. This behavior is being ginned up, and the institutions that permit it are complicit.

  6. I’ve followed NASCAR for years. I don’t like Kurt Busch or his brother for that matter. It wouldn’t surprise me if this istrue. However, you can’t suspend someone just because someone else makes an allegation. Particularly when that person waited 6 weeks to make the allegation. That in itself is suspicious. If NASCAR started suspending people based on allegations, there would be allegations flying all season. Allegations are easy to make. Proving them is different. Remember innocent until proven guilty? Just a few months ago, people were screaming for the head of Tony Steward, demanding he be jailed for hitting and killing a driver on a racetrack. After a long investigation, using forensic scientists, reconstructions, and video, it was determined that Tony Steward did nothing wrong. The fault laid with the driver who was killed. Now here we have a POLITICIAN who is asking NASCAR to do the same thing. NASCAR has a history of suspending those who misbehave. Give them time to investig…

  7. “Just a few months ago, people were screaming for the head of Tony Steward, demanding he be jailed for hitting and killing a driver on a racetrack. After a long investigation, using forensic scientists, reconstructions, and video, it was determined that Tony Steward did nothing wrong.”

    That’s right. And just like Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart has a long history of being a hot-head, but that didn’t automatically make him guilty of a crime. We all could be accused of a crime some day, and we all would want the benefit of assumed innocence before our trial, regardless of our past. That’s supposed to be the American way.

  8. What Congresswoman Spiere is saying is that Busch is guilty until he can somehow prove his innocence. Being a senior citizen of this country, I have always been taught that you are innocent until proven guilty.

  9. “”How is it that NASCAR can take action when a reporter is threatened, and not when a woman is physically assaulted?””

    its actually very simple. we dont have any proof that it actually happened, only he said she said right now.

    what happened to innocent until proven guilty??? this is america not russia remember????

  10. Innocent or guilty really has nothing to do with it at this point. The charge has been made

    What he is doing to the NASCAR name does

  11. I see a company (who i generally dont like) standing up for their “employees” against alligations rather than bending to political correctness

    anyone can make an accusation. how would you like it if for example a scorned ex lover of yours went to your job and told your boss than you beat him or her? and the company fired you for it eventhough there is no proof, only an accusation?

    we have this thing called innocent until proven guilty in america, and we really need to stop trying people in the court of public opinion because the avg person is not very bright and runs on emotion. emotion is not the way to run anything, logic and facts should be the way to handle this.

    if he did it, suspend him for the first 5 races next year (or more!) but lets wait and see what actually happened. did he do it? or is she a crazy ex?

  12. Yes we do have those things. But when a cop does something, he is immediately suspended prior to any trial. That is commonplace in the work places. NASCAR is a work place. They are not standing up for him, this is hardly the first time he has been caught threatening someone. Sure, its just an allegation, but if NASCAR takes this type of thing seriously they would park his car.

  13. cops are a different breed, they have power over you, a driver of a car does not.

    i dont believe anyone should ever be fired or suspended prior to a conviction. period. it is wrong on so many levels to do such a thing. and to bring someones past into it has nothing to with the event at hand.

    the same thing happened with tony stewart, he hit someone while driving in a dirt track race and people were calling for his head. after the investigation it turned out that it was an accident(although anyone watching could see that was the case)

    one more time, no one should lose their job based on the allegations of another person. period.

  14. It doesnt matter the occupation, what is the person accused of doing to the brand of the entity responsible? You are responsible to the company you work for. 99% of the time that person is paid while he is gone. No one is talking firing in this situation.

  15. we will simply have to agree to disagree here. I really dont care what “normally” happens, I care about what is right. and what is right is now caving into political correctness to appease people who frankly arent going to be watching the race to begin with. its almost always people who complain about this or complain about that when they dont even use the product or watch the team/sport. just look at the redskins thing, the only people offended are not even football fans, if you are not a football fan, it does not concern you.

    back to kurt, until we actually know what happened, he should keep racing (theres 1 race left sunday on the season anyway)

  16. But I bet when black NFL players were accuse of the same offences you was all giddy in your supremacist clothes saying that is how they are

  17. To djchefron in response to comment about PJ Taintz (my reply isn’t working):

    I agreed with PJ Taintz until the “Redskins” comment. Yes, he stepped in it, but your comment is just as foul, and just as racist. And yes, I know from posting here that you’re a black man, but that doesn’t give you the “immunity idol” on racism.

    I’m willing to bet that you both posted comments not thought all the way through and that neither one of you is a racist.

  18. How is it foul? I don’t know if you watch ESPN but I do. Whenever a POC do what Busch is accuse of its 24/7 in coverage. There is no outcry in taking his money away. But when a black athlete does it, you are guilty until proven otherwise.

    No man should put his hand on a women, all I am asking lets be consistent

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