The “Let’s Go Brandon” saga has reached a very predictable point.
NASCAR has denied Brandon Brown—the unintentional origin of the right-wing ‘joke’—or more specifically one of his proposed sponsors from using the phrase that is now a thinly veiled insult against President Joe Biden.
Let’s Go Brandon Coin (LGBCoin) a new cryptocurrency sought to sponsor the driver, but NASCAR did not approve the deal.
This whole story began when Brown was being interviewed for a post-race win last October. The crowd behind him started chanting “F*** Joe Biden!”
The NBC Sports reporter conducting the interview suggested to Brown that they were actually chanting “Let’s go Brandon!” to cheer on the driver for his win. After this, due to right-wing attempts at humor, the phrase started being used everywhere.
After getting stuck with the association, some have suggested Brown should sue NASCAR and NBC for putting him in this position then denying him the sponsor.
Except it isn’t NASCAR or NBC’s fault the phrase became a vulgar phrase. That blame rests squarely with the conservative base that turned the phrase into an unfunny meme.
So, no, he probably shouldn’t sue.
On top of all of this, Brown was told as far back as November that NASCAR would refuse any association with the phrase. Both NASCAR and Brown have expressed a desire to remain out of politics.
However, Brown has had trouble securing sponsorships due to his association with the meme. James Koutoulas, LGBcoin investor, helped secure Brown the sponsorship from the fledgling cryptocurrency.
After NASCAR came out against the sponsorship, Koutoulas revealed an email exchange with Senior Racing Operations Manager, Dale Howell, where it seemed the sponsorship was tentatively approved.
However, Howell didn’t seem to understand the secret message of LGBCoin. Once another official saw the sponsorship proposal, the deal was squashed.
Koutoulas' tweeted a threat of lawsuit:
This leaves Brown in an awkward, but predictable situation.
It’s fairly rare for NASCAR to take such a hardline stance as it did in November, when it banned Brown from using the phrase. The company has approved both cryptocurrency sponsors and right-wing political sponsors.
However, it’s likely the implied curse in the joke that makes them hesitant this time around. NASCAR is now in the process of reviewing its rules regarding sponsorships, including political sponsorships going forward.