ESPN commentator Keith Olbermann enraged a lot of NASCAR fans over the weekend when he slammed the racing organization and accused it of using the death of sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. to promote an event on Twitter.
Ward, 20, died Saturday after an on-track altercation
with fellow driver and NASCAR veteran Tony Stewart at New York's Canandaigua Motorsports Park.
Multiple graphic YouTube videos show Ward's No. 13 car spin out after contact with Stewart's. Ward then exited his car, appearing to angrily gesture at Stewart, who reportedly hit the gas. The sudden burst of speed fishtailed his sprint car and the rear tire struck Ward, who was thrown into the air and later died from his injuries.
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The dirt-track race was not NASCAR-sanctioned.
Stewart was subsequently dropped from the lineup at Sunday's NASCAR Cheez-It 355 race at Watkins Glen, which the racing organization teased on Twitter in a now-deleted post.
Olbermann immediately sounded off on the NASCAR tweet.
Many NASCAR fans spoke out against Olbermann, but the sharp-tongued broadcaster fired right back.
"This wasn't even a @NASCAR sanctioned race," Twitter user @Gregulator614 posted in a now-deleted string of messages, as screen-shotted by USA Today's For The Win sports blog
"Are all events supposed to stop for one death? As you said, it's part of racing. This had nothing to with @NASCAR except that a driver who also races for them took part. And that driver withdrew anyway. My point being, I don't know what NASCAR could have done. It's a terrible situation for all involved."
"@Gregulator614 Not turn the man's death into a promotional tweet," Olbermann retorted.
Here are a couple other exchanges:
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