NASCAR distances itself from Donald Trump after remarks

By 07.04.2015 news > US
In this June 30, 2015, photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves as he arrives at a house party in Bedford, N.H. Hispanic leaders are warning of harm to Republican White House hopes unless the party’s presidential contenders do more to condemn Trump, who’s refusing to apologize for calling Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers.  (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — NASCAR is the latest corporation to distance itself from Donald Trump.

On the same day one of its top sponsors called on NASCAR to take a stance against Trump, the motorsports series said it will not hold its season-ending awards ceremony at the Trump National Doral Miami.

“We looked at everything we saw coming down and what we heard from our sponsors and our partners and what we feel we should be doing, and that’s what led us to the decision today,” NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said Friday at Daytona International Speedway.

A message seeking comment from Trump left by The Associated Press was not returned.

Higdon was responding to a letter released by Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis, whose company is the title sponsor of NASCAR’s Truck Series. Lemonis made it clear he would not attend or participate in the awards ceremony if it was held at a Trump property. The ceremony was held at Doral last year.

“My company … has enjoyed a long running relationship with NASCAR as I believe the vision of our companies both embody family, respect, unity, comradery and diversity,” Lemonis wrote in a letter to NASCAR Chairman Brian France. “These sentiments are at the core of what our country stands for and will continue to embrace. … Due to recent and ongoing blatantly bigoted and racist comments from Donald Trump in regards to immigrants of the United States, I would like to inform you that I will not, nor will any representative of Camping World, participate or attend in the ceremonial event if it is held at any Trump property.

“Our company will not stand to support any person or organization that associates with such beliefs and we feel strongly about distancing ourselves from any negative and discriminatory comments made against any gender, ethnicity, age group or so forth. I would hope that the entire NASCAR organization would agree with my sentiments.”

NASCAR and Camping World are the latest to distance themselves from Trump following his inflammatory statements regarding immigrants from Mexico.

NBC, which is one of NASCAR’s television broadcast partners, parted ways with Trump earlier this week.

Higdon said NASCAR is looking for another place to hold its awards ceremony and plans to formally announce a location later this summer.

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