YouTube ended up banning both the music video and lyric video for Gray’s song over “medical misinformation.”
In the post-race interview with Stavast, Brown was delighted, and the win was “everything [he’d] hoped and dreamed for.”
He also noted that “everything he’s ever wanted to do is take the trophy home to mom and dad.” The sweet sentiment was a stark contrast to what the “Let’s Go Brandon” chant meant.
As Smith noted in the column, Brown at first didn’t hear the chant or realise that he had entered into the world of memes until he checked Twitter.
At first, he said he found it “kind of funny” and even sent out some tweets of his own.
But as the phrase grew in popularity, Brown became concerned.
“This whole Talladega race win was supposed to be a celebration, and then it was supposed to be something that I was able to use to move up, and I really wanted to capitalize on that,” Brown told Smith.
He also said that as the meme became viral, it became a moment of him staying “more silent” because people seemed to want it to lean on the “political side.”
“I’m about the racing side.”
Brown also noted that as a Nascar driver, he sought “to appeal to everybody, because, all in all, everybody is a consumer,” while adding, “I have zero desire to be involved in politics.”
A spokesman for Brown’s racing team had reached out to Smith after they realised that waiting for the “storm” to cease wasn’t working, wrote Smith, and “his silence on the matter seemed to be a political statement.”
Brown told Smith that he is hoping to turn the phrase into something more positive and “productive,” suggesting a new slogan of “Let’s Go, America!”
Smith ended the column by expressing respect for Brown and his responses, “navigating subjects he’s never really thought about.”
Check out people’s responses to the conversation on Twitter below.
@nytimes Go for him. I’m glad he’s saying this. He was used to build a brand and he’s pulling the rug out from it.… https://t.co/g7Vwy01Gi9
— Jeanne. Progressive. I love Democracy. (@Jeanne. Progressive. I love Democracy.)
@nytimes It’s easy for those of us who are very interested in politics to forget that many people aren’t interested… https://t.co/PL2bjszurk