CHARLOTTE, N.C. (The Charlotte Observer) - NASCAR drivers Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Blaney announced via Twitter on Thursday that they are terminating their relationships with helmet design company BEAM Designs.
Johnson tweeted that he “decided to end (his) relationship with Beam Designs” shortly after Bubba Wallace posted a picture on Twitter showing comments from the company’s Twitter account that called Wallace’s Black Lives Matter car paint scheme “garbage.”
Blaney then tweeted that he would also stop using Beam Designs’ services “in light of some inappropriate tweets.”
“Nah homie, as person I’ve done business with in the past and ALWAYS respected the work you’ve done for ones in the industry. You made it clear of where you stand in today’s matter. All respect lost for ya dawg. #garbage” Wallace tweeted in response to the BEAM Designs account thanking NASCAR and Wallace for removing the Confederate flag from its events, a position that the helmet designer earlier said he opposed.
“BREAKING: I lost 13 followers yesterday for not wanting to erase history,” BEAM, run by owner Jason Beam, tweeted early Thursday morning in support of maintaining the presence of the Confederate flag at NASCAR races.
In another post, BEAM called NASCAR “idiots” for its ban on the flag, and said supported driver Ray Ciccarelli’s decision to leave the sport due to the change in its flag policy.
Wednesday, the account tweeted, “Sad day in racing watching NASCAR put their drivers and teams and their sport in the political spotlight of racism.”
In addition to Johnson and Blaney, the 35-year-old company has had a longstanding relationship with drivers Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch and Joey Logano. Beam worked closely with Johnson, and designed the No. 48 driver’s helmet for this year’s Coca-Cola 600 race.
Beam did not seem fazed by the seven-time Cup Series champion’s decision, tweeting in response Thursday, “Politics ,, F*** it ,, is what it is.. Jimmie is a class act and I respect his decision.”