The legendary thrash metal band Slayer announced on Friday that they had been dropped as the primary sponsor of the No. 54 racecar that J.J. Yeley was set to drive at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday. In a statement given to Billboard, the band cited concerns from other legacy sponsors as the reason for their signage getting pulled.
“Today, reportedly due to reactionary concerns from other long-time participating sponsors, Slayer has been pulled as the primary sponsor, and all Slayer signage has been removed from the car that was to be piloted by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series veteran, JJ Yeley,” they wrote in a statement. “The incontrovertible PODS Moving & Storage will now sponsor that car. After nearly 40 years, Slayer apparently remains as terrifying to some as ever.”
Claims of sponsorship interference were corroborated on Friday through a statement from Rick Ware Racing, the car’s owner.
“Rick Ware Racing and Slayer announced a partnership for Bristol Motor Speedway several weeks ago. There were no contracts or monetary transactions between either parties. Unfortunately, Slayer’s brand image and beliefs, and Rick Ware Racing and our long-time partners’ image and beliefs do not align. As a team owner, we thought it would be best to forgo the partnership. RWR wishes nothing but the best to Slayer and their fans and wishes the band a successful Final World Tour.”
Let’s briefly ignore the idiotic fact that Rick Ware Racing is outwardly admitting to promoting a sponsorship without any contractual or financial obligations on their end, and let’s instead focus on how cool the car would have looked if those cowards hadn’t changed their mind at the last minute.
Back to the idiocy: it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the sports world’s epicenter of conservative culture has a problem with a band that’s put out albums like South of Heaven, God Hates Us All and Christ Illusion, but one would think that someone in the ownership group would have had some sense to at least do a cursory online search about who they’re about to partner with before coming up with mock designs—though if they did they would discover that some of the band’s politics were pretty similar to a majority of the sport’s fan base. Now, a boring moving and storage company will serve as the car’s primary sponsor instead.
It’s good to know that in a sport where the U.S. Border Patrol was a car’s primary sponsor, the CEO endorsed Donald Trump for president, a noted bigot was invited to lead a prayer before a race that asked God for a Republican president, and a collaboration was done with a racist and misogynistic sports blog, that Rick Ware Racing suddenly decided that now was the best time to check their moral compass and reconsider a marketing decision.