Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains arguably the most popular name around NASCAR. Through much of his racing career, his passion for the Washington Football Team became well known. With that in mind, he nearly tested his fandom with a unique opportunity before the NFL stepped in to shut it down.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a lifelong Washington Football Team fan
In the latter stages of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s NASCAR career, he became an open book through the media and various social media platforms.
Since stepping into retirement, he has ramped that up a notch through his Dale Jr. Download podcast, NBC Sports broadcast duties, and social media involvements. What became quite evident through the process is his strong unwithering passion for Washington Football Team that dates back decades.
Earnhardt Jr. is a lifelong fan who has garnered relationships with many involved with the franchise. After he left Dale Earnhardt Inc., he nearly joined former Washington head coach Joe Gibbs’ NASCAR team.
Gibbs’ recruiting process included team owner Dan Snyder making a strong pitch to convince him to join. Beyond that, Earnhardt has collected memorabilia from his favorite team, such as signed football helmets.
With all that in mind, he nearly went against his fandom through an extraordinary opportunity that involved one of Washington’s biggest rivals.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. lined up an opportunity to run a Philadelphia Eagles’ themed car
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s NFL fandom for the Washington Football Team has been well-documented over the years.
All that didn’t exactly excite him when he found out that he would potentially drive a car with the Philadelphia Eagles team logo on the side of his vehicle during a race in the 2017 season.
Axalta lined up a partnership with the All-Pro Teacher program that created the scenario of running an Eagles paint scheme at a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at Pocono Raceway.
Although Earnhardt Jr. did have some initial pushback at the idea due to his fandom for Washington, he voiced on Periscope that he was excited about the opportunity. (h/t Racing News)
“I’m really sad about that, being a Redskins fan. It was very hard to wrap my brain around it, but what I am happy about is helping them promote the All-Pro Teachers charity and organization that the Philadelphia Eagles have, where they basically acknowledge teachers that are really great teachers.”
Before Earnhardt Jr. ventured any further down that route, the NFL stepped to shut down that possibility quickly.
NFL blocked NASCAR from using Eagles logo
Although Earnhardt Jr. needed some time to accept the situation as a Washington Football Team fan, he transitioned to embrace the scenario.
Not long after that news became public knowledge, the NFL stepped in and blocked it. The league didn’t approve the design due to it using a team to promote another sport.
“Having been reminded of the NFL’s policy, we understand and respect their point of view,” the Eagles said in a statement via ESPN. “While we are disappointed that we will not have the opportunity to increase the visibility of the Axalta All-Pro Teachers program through the Pocono 400 this year, we remain committed to supporting STEM curriculum and the educators who inspire our youth through our relationship with Axalta.”
Earnhardt Jr. also voiced that he understood the reasoning behind the NFL’s decision. At the same time, NASCAR was denied the chance to participate in a one-of-a-kind situation.