If you missed it on Wednesday, Golden Tate got in a little spat with NASCAR fans after tweeting about Jimmie Johnson and whether or not the driver qualified as an athlete. The argument started during the ESPYs -- Johnson was nominated in the Best Male Athlete category -- and carried over throughout the night and into Thursday. As you can imagine, NASCAR fans are steadfast and passionate in defending their sport, which is fine. But the battle has gone so far off the grid it's not even funny.
Tate took abuse, but instead of just letting it roll and ignoring it, he fired back. And he did so by pulling the redneck card.
12th man get these rednecks off me.
Look, both sides are in the wrong here. Tate was called all sorts of names for expressing his feelings about Johnson, but didn't exactly help his cause by stooping to the level of those mentioning him on Twitter. And I, in no way, excuse others calling him every name under the sun. It's not right.
But there's a time and place to move on and we passed it sometime last night. Both sides need to stop before this continues to devolve into a name-calling war. It's one thing to debate whether drivers are athletes, it's another to fire shots at each other with racial undertones.
What could have been a healthy debate about NASCAR and drivers -- I do think they have an argument as athletes, but it's one that's up for debate -- has gone nowhere. And it's the fault of both Tate and the fans who have been sending messages to him. Sometimes it's best to just walk away, and that's the case here.