(CBS Sports) - NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Kyle Weatherman drove a pro-police scheme car with a large "Back The Blue" hashtag during Saturday's Dixie Vodka 250. The car not only featured the phrase in three places, but also had a large "Blue Lives Matter" flag decal on the hood of the car, with the "Thin Blue Line" running across the side.
This reveal from Mike Harmon Racing, Weatherman’s racing team, came just four days after Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace drove a car which had “Black Lives Matter” in the two of the same spots where Weatherman’s pro-cop slogans resided. The third placement of “Back the Blue” on Weatherman’s car was put in the same spot where Wallace had “Compassion, Love, Understanding.”
Though the tweet mentions that this design is for law enforcement officers (LEO's) and First Responders, the "Thin Blue Line" and its associate, the Blue Lives Matter flag, are more representative of the police than any other group. Officers often display the imagery as a show of solidarity.
Still, to give an idea of how controversial this imagery is, some cops -- who, as a reminder, are supposed to be the ones honored by this imagery -- have stated they recognize how this flag has been construed as a political demonstration that runs directly counter to the paint scheme Wallace had on his car at the Cup Series race in Martinsville earlier this week. The phrase “Blue Lives Matter,” for example, was an explicit reaction by law enforcement to the slogan “Black Lives Matter” that protestors rallying against police brutality have used in marches throughout the country -- it’s worth noting the team never explicitly says Blue Lives Matter.