I posted this on my Facebook yesterday…but realized this morning while I was driving to work that I probably should have posted it here too:
I haven’t said much about the incident at Canandaigua because I can’t. I can only envisage the heartbreak the Ward family feels. I am also crushed for Tony. I know in my heart that, despite some claims, it was not intentional. I can only imagine how this weighs on him.
What I can say is that the nearly instantaneous vilification of Stewart last night and today has disheartened me more than I can express and has made me seriously wonder about the nature of humanity.
I meant that- and as you probably noticed Misty was the one who wrote her opinion about the accident because I just didn’t have the heart to post anything. Between social media trolls unleashing personal attacks on fans who were trying to make sense of a tragedy in their own internet spaces and the sensationalistic and downright misinformed mainstream “media” I am still reeling and severely disappointed in what I saw of human nature. Sure maybe I look at the world through rosy colored glasses but I like that color because it makes the world I live in liveable.
That said, I want to bring up a piece I wrote years ago (2011) called: Musings on Being A Tony Stewart Fan 3 (or Don’t Be That Guy) The situations in that post are totally different and much less vicious in nature but I have a feeling that it’s people being “that guy” who are being the evil internet trolls that are making things worse for everyone involved, who are cutting deeper open wounds that need time to heal. And like one of my Facebook friends said to me on the very Facebook post I quote at the beginning (someone by the way who by the way doesn’t, that I know of, follow NASCAR at all) (and I am totally going to paraphrase this and probably badly): It’s the vocal minority who are vilifying while “the silent majority waits for more information, has more empathy, and feels the sorrow of the tragedy.” I can only hope she is right.
I am not saying that all social media has been bad. On the contrary I have had some great (sometimes cathartic) interactions with Smoke fans on both Facebook and Twitter (DMs in all cases)- ones who have reached out to me because they thought I had been unusually quiet (and I have been- withdrawal is kind of how I deal with things sometimes) or just to give me a late night virtual hug because they thought I would need it (and I did). These are the kind of interactions we need right now – the whole racing community in general. It’s a sad time for ALL forms of motorsports.
So I remain a bit more mum on the subject than my readers probably expect because of the hate and the inability for people to contain their
jackass knee-jerk reactions and the inexpressible sadness that envelopes this tragic accident.
I will, however, share this link to a story that I think really captures the essence of Tony Stewart more than anything I have read lately- both before and and after the accident. What strikes me the most is that this article is by a member of the NASCAR and INDYCAR “beat” media who’s article’s I am usually not so impressed with- but this? This is right here– is spot on and I thank Jenna Fryer for writing it: Stewart Found His Roots On Sprint Tracks.
(FYI I am going to allow comments on this post but if you aren’t being good humans to each other I will turn off comments immediately).
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