Racetrack promoter sorry for backing announcer’s racist rant at Iowa track

Iowa News

Race cars get the green flag at Fairmont Raceway, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Fairmont, Minn. Lon Oelke, an announcer who was fired by an Iowa track after a racist rant, was back behind the microphone at Fairmont on Friday. (John Reinan/Star Tribune via AP)

FAIRMONT, Minn. (AP) — An auto racing announcer in southern Minnesota will sit out for the rest of the season following a racist rant in Iowa last month.

And a track promoter who supported him is now apologizing. Fairmont Raceway promoter Jon McCorkell says he’s sorry for comments he made in support of longtime announcer Lon Oelke.

Oelke was fired from an Iowa racetrack after he complained about people who don’t stand for the national anthem. McCorkell initially said he agreed with Oelke.

But now he says he’s learned a lot about the issues behind the protest that takes a stand against racial inequity.

The raceway says Oelke will take a leave of absence.

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