By now, you’ve probably seen Amy Earnhardt’s tweet about why she doesn’t want husband Dale Earnhardt Jr. to run The Clash exhibition race next year.
If you missed it, here it is:
— Amy Earnhardt (@AmyEarnhardt) July 18, 2017
I sort of cringed when I first read this, because it seemed like some idiots on Twitter probably wouldn’t handle this very well. Then I read the replies and — yep. Some positive responses, but also some ugly ones that were just totally unnecessary.
It was the kind of personal tweet that’s like the Bat Signal for douchebags.
Honestly, Amy didn’t owe anyone that kind of explanation or peek into how the decision was made. I fear this may put an uncomfortable spotlight on her in terms of fans placing blame for why Dale Jr. won’t be out there risking more head-knocks for their entertainment.
But she’s absolutely right, of course.
Think about it: Dale Jr. got seriously injured — enough to the point where his vision was impacted for months and he was in a really bad place mentally — and Amy was there every single day of what had to be some very dark times. She pushed him to keep going with his exercises (mental and physical) in hopes of seeing the person she loves simply return to normal again.
So after going through all that, Dale Jr. decided to race one more season in order to go out on his own terms — and Amy gave her blessing. That’s a pretty strong level of support from a spouse, and a selfless one at that.
I assume it’s quite a sacrifice to be willing to watch your loved one put themselves at risk when you know the consequences all too well. And don’t give me the, “Well, she knew what she signed up for when she married a race car driver.” No, not in terms of the concussion effects. I bet seeing that would change anyone’s outlook on racing.
If Earnhardt is able to get through this season without another concussion, that would be quite fortunate and he should walk away thankful for his health and a fine career. So it’s no wonder then, when asked whether she would endorse Dale Jr. putting himself in a high-risk situation for no good reason, she said: Nah.
Seriously, what would running The Clash prove? That he’s good at plate racing? Duh. That he loves racing and wants to get back in a car? OK, cool — take a few months off and go run a Truck race at Martinsville, dude.
I don’t blame Amy one bit for her “decision.” It’s the right one. I just worry about the potential backlash from this call being on her shoulders in such a public way.