Mike Huckabee on Sunday became the latest conservative to criticize ESPN’s Colin Cowherd for suggesting that the circumstances surrounding a fatal sprint car racing crash are endemic to southern culture.
Cowherd used his radio show last week to opine on the death of racer Kevin Ward Jr., setting off a negative reaction on the right.
Ward was killed in a race earlier this month in upstate New York after he got out of his car and was struck by NASCAR star Tony Stewart. Cowherd said the incident reflected “a very southern eye-for-an-eye culture.”
Being aggressive in one way or another has always been at the heart of NASCAR. This is a settle-the-score sport. I mean, think about this, even in this country, where’s the death penalty, an eye-for-an-eye, pass? Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama. It’s just a different culture. And if you don’t live in it, it’s us against them. The Confederate flag. People in the South often call northerners Yankees. I kid you not. I heard it when I lived there. I didn’t understand it. It’s more divided. And NASCAR is, it is very southern, it is very pick a side. It’s the culture of car racin’, which is a very southern eye-for-an-eye culture.
Anyone could have guessed that Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, wouldn’t take kindly to that observation. He played Cowherd’s commentary on his Fox News program over the weekend, and showed the audience’s disgusted reaction throughout the audio clip.
Then it was Huckabee’s turn to fire back at Cowherd, whose name, the one-time presidential candidate pointed out, “rhymes with cow turd.”
Really? So this guy thinks that the death of Kevin Ward is because of a southern culture? OK, since Ward is a native of New York and Stewart’s from Indiana, I guess I’m not getting the geographical connection. But as a proud southerner, I take offense that some guy whose name rhymes with cow turd trying to blame southerners for a testosterone-fueled feud between two Yankee drivers.
Huckabee went on to defend the kindness of his fellow southerners.
“I don’t know where this goon from ESPN is from, but it ain’t from the South,” he said.
On Monday, Cowherd responded by retweeting encouraging comments from his followers.
“Huck’s rant proves your point. He sees the world through an ‘us vs them’ lens. Your views are irrelevant since you aint southern,” wrote one Twitter user.