We are now five days into Mayfield-gate and I am sure everyone is starting to get sick of hearing about drugs, drug testing, positive tests for drugs etc. I understand. So in advance I apologize for adding one more blog post to the plethora that exist.
I can’t say I much thought about NASCAR’s response to this whole thing at the moment, but as the week has gone on and I have thought about it, it has bothered me more and more.
Prior to Jim Hunter’s press conference Saturday there was an announcement that a driver had failed a test. Now I understand they wanted people to go to the media center, but all it did was stoke rumor mongering. I read on forums after the fact, people trying to guess who said driver was. And I don’t blame them.
Maybe I’ve just thought about this too much, but it feels like they were trying to make this bigger than it was already going to be. Ultimately the story ended up on the front page of most major news organizations.
That really is the lesser of my two issues though. Splashed along with Mayfield were the names of two crew members. Two ordinary guys who without a doubt made some bad decisions and were caught. They signed NASCAR’s drug policy and they knew if they were caught they would be suspended. I have no pity for that.
My issue though lies in the fact that these guys (and others before them) had their names published and re-published with no recourse. Unlike a driver they have no means for launching a public defense. No one cares. They don’t have a public relations person and the team is certainly not going to back them up. They are private citizens thrust into very public situations. And as a result their reputations are damaged beyond repair. None of these people are likely to ever work in the sport again.
Ultimately I don’t know what the purpose of publishing crew members’ names is; other than the shame of it. Maybe NASCAR is trying to earn some credibility on the drug testing issue.
It seems to me this is an issue for the employers and NASCAR to work out privately, just like it is with every other employer in this country. And honestly how many of you care that John Doe with Team X was suspended because he failed a drug test? I really don’t.
Just my two cents.