Duck Dynasty's patriarch Phil Robertson asked for 'a Jesus man in the White House' during the pre-race prayer for the Sprint Cup Series' Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Race at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night. He gave the prayer because the family company, Duck Commander, is the title sponsor of the race.
Referencing the Bible and guns in the prayer's introduction, following is the prayer in full: "Alright Texas, we got here via Bibles and guns. I'm fixin' to pray to the one who made that possible. Father, thank you for founding our nation. I pray, Father, that we don't forget who brought us. You. Our faith in the blood of Jesus and his resurrection. Help us, Father, to get back to that. Help us dear God understand that the men and women on my right, the U.S. military. On my right and on my left. Our faith in you and the U.S. military is the reason we're still here. I pray Father that we put a Jesus man in the White House. Help us do that, and help us all to repent to do what's right to love you more and to love each other. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen."
NASCAR is the only major sport that regularly has a pre-event prayer, reports Yahoo Sports. Several sports broadcasters voiced it would better to have non-denominational prayers become the norm at races because that practice would dovetail with NASCAR's diversity efforts -- efforts that have been scrutinized with NASCAR CEO Brian France's presidential endorsement of Donald Trump.
Robertson's prayer received mixed reactions on Twitter, but one popular name on the NASCAR circuit seemed to enjoy it: American NASCAR co-owner of JR Motorsports, Kelley Earnhardt. She tweeted, "Best real honest prayer I ever heard."
Following the invocation, Will Robertson, also of Duck Dynasty fame, sang the national anthem.
Duck Commander took over in 2014 as the primary sponsor of the spring Texas race from the National Rifle Association. The race sponsorship from the NRA received extensive criticism and NASCAR responded with a statement that it would be reviewing race sponsorship agreements more closely.
One Facebook fan, Amanda Rice Ferrell, posted online that she thinks the Robertson family shows values many in our country lack. "I said it when he gave the interview that nearly caused the network to pull him from the show and I'll say it again...#istandwithphil."
"If NASCAR bends to bullying, I'll never turn on another race and I am certain that I won't be the only one," wrote Ferrell. "I wish more who are given a stage would stand up and say it. We certainly do need 'a Jesus man' in our White House, (yes, it's OUR White House) and rid it of all those trying to break down the very foundation our (OUR) country was built upon."
Other NASCAR fans online shared that they thought Robertson was "tainting NASCAR."