NASCAR has hit the brakes on a crypto sponsorship deal recently announced by driver Brandon Brown due to its ties to the anti-Joe Biden slogan “Let’s go, Brandon.”
Brown’s LGBcoin sponsorship was rejected by NASCAR executives on Tuesday, with this final decision coming two months after Brown and his racing team were told in person that the slogan would not be permitted in any car paint scheme or sponsorship, a NASCAR representative confirmed to HuffPost on Wednesday.
The racing company reportedly blamed a NASCAR employee for greenlighting Brown’s deal with cryptocurrency meme coin LGBcoin ― an acronym for “Let’s go, Brandon” ― without proper authority, The Washington Post reported, citing a NASCAR official.
Brown’s win at the Talladega Superspeedway this past fall inadvertently created the flippant slogan. Though he later said he didn’t want to be involved in politics, Brown last week announced his controversial new sponsor.
He debuted a red, white and blue LGBcoin race car and a flashy promotional video featuring branding for the meme coin, which is on the Ethereum blockchain.
The coin’s purchase “allows owners to digitally voice their support for America and the American dream,” according to a website for the crypto company, which claims to be against political animosity. “If we do our job right, when you think of us, and you hear, ‘Let’s Go Brandon!’ you’ll think and feel, ‘Let’s Go America!,’ just as Brandon would have it.”
Brandonbilt Motorsports, Brown’s racing team, hit back at NASCAR in a statement, insisting that the auto racing company signed off on the sponsorship and car’s paint scheme.
“The sponsor approval was unambiguous ― the first four words of the email from NASCAR state, ‘the sponsors are approved…’ The only feedback offered was related to minor graphic design changes to ensure legibility on the track at 170MPH,” the racing team told CNN.
Hedge fund manager and LGBcoin advocate James Koutoulas threatened to sue NASCAR on behalf of LGBcoin holders if it makes good on its rejection.
“Now it’s war,” he tweeted Wednesday.
Representatives for Brandonbilt Motorsports and LGBcoin did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment Wednesday.