Controversial announcer exits Fairmont Raceway
Race Track Start and Finish Line
An announcer fired from an Iowa track for a racist rant is out at the Fairmont Raceway, days after the promoter rushed to defend him.
Lon Oelke “decided to take an immediate leave of absence until the end of the race season,” a post on the Fairmont Raceway Facebook page announced Thursday.
Oelke was fired from the Kossuth County Speedway in Algona, Iowa after he was heard complaining about people who kneel during the national anthem and the NFL’s decision to play the black national anthem before games – a speech that was met with cheers from the audience.
Fairmont Raceway promoter Jay McCorkell promised to stand by his guy, saying Oelke’s words reflected local beliefs. But in a Facebook post Thursday, McCorkell back-tracked, saying he’d made a “bad mistake.” McCorkell said he spoke to a lot of people about the issues in the days since the incident. “I learned a lot about what some of the underlying, deeper issues are for a lot of people,” his statement reads.
McCorkell said the incident has taught him to look at things from the perspective of other people. He said he’d spoken to Oelke about the issues and the announcer would make his own statement.
Oelke’s leave was announced on social media about an hour after McCorkell’s post.