You don't have to be a NASCAR fan to have your panties in a twist over driver Kasey Kahne and his asinine tweets accusing a mom breastfeeding her child in his local grocery store of grossing him out. But then again, the chance that the moms he pissed off this week were fans of his sport to begin with shows just what a boob Kasey really is! Didn't his mama teach him the term "you don't poop where you eat"?
Being an athlete means knowing where your bread is buttered. And 31-year-old Kahne makes his living in a sport that's dominated the female market like no other. Picking on something that thousands of ladies do every day was not exactly his smartest move when you consider how many women help pay his bills.
These days, NASCAR estimates its fanbase is split right down the middle between men and women. Compared to a sport like, say, golf, which boasts devotion from just 28 percent of the female population, that's a pretty significant split. So, any guesses why they're drawing the ladies to the track? Hint: it's not to talk about tires and engines. At least not for most of the women, although there are a few gearheads in every group. But for most ladies, it's the drivers themselves who are convincing women to pick up a cute little onesie for the baby with a big race car on the front or shelling out tickets for family day at the track. As the sport's marketing chief told CBS a few years back:
Our drivers are seen as courageous, heroic, down-to-Earth, they're regular guys and our female fan base certainly identifies with that.
Unfortunately, Kahne's tweets show he either didn't get that memo from the higher-ups in the NASCAR organization or he chose to ignore it. Because there's nothing heroic or courageous about a dude picking on an innocent woman and her hungry kid, is there? Kind of makes you feel like he's picking on all of womankind, doesn't it?
Frankly, his tweets were no different from NBA star LeBron James calling a female reporter "retarded" earlier this year and angering the special needs community or former WEC champion fighter Miguel Torres cracking wise about rape a few weeks back. Kahne is essentially a celebrity, and he makes his living based on keeping the fans happy. He needs to think of that before he shoots his mouth off on any topic, be it breastfeeding or politics.
Good athletes are like good comedians. They know their audience. And they chose their words wisely.
Apparently Kahne has apologized -- no doubt because he'd like to actually see someone buy their kid a mini version of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance car sometime in 2012. But is it enough?
Did Kasey Kahne just screw himself out of the support of an important part of the NASCAR fanbase?
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