NASCAR Fans Jeer Lady Driver For Sucking (But Do It Sexistly So)

There’s criticism (“You suck”) and then there’s criticism that hits below the belt because it gets specific about someone’s race, gender, or sexuality (“You suck because you’re fag”). The latter is what happened this weekend to NASCAR driver Amber Cope, whose not-good driving interfered with a more experienced driver. As the car blog Jalopnik puts it, Amber Cope and her twin sister Angela Cope “have been trying to work their way into racing with mostly weak results.” But that doesn’t mean the appropriate way to criticize either one of them for a job poorly done is to use the word “c**t.”

Some of the criticism surely stems from NASCAR  driver Kevin Harlick Harvick, who blamed his second-place showing on Amber Cope’s driving. “[She is] somebody who shouldn’t be on the race track and has no clue what they’re doing in a racecar,” Harlick Harvick said in an interview after losing. “She wants to be Danica Patrick but she can’t hold her helmet.” As collected by Jalopnik, NASCAR fans later weighed in on Twitter, writing sexist comments (referencing the twins’ shared Twitter acount) like, “The only pole @AmberAngelaCope will take is in a strip club” and “What a cunt.”

Sure, it sucks when your guy doesn’t win.  There are ways of registering that anger without resorting to sexist slurs against a woman. They may not have the skills just yet, but they are trying. And they are trying in a male-dominated sport. This kind of behavior makes the race car driving climate less welcoming to girls and women — even it’s just yahoos on Twitter.


Contact the author of this post at [email protected] Follow me on Twitter and Tumblr.

[Photo: Getty]