A race track in southern Minnesota is under surveillance amid controversy involving its longtime main announcer.
Lon Oelke is the voice of the Fairmont Raceway, which is located in Martin County.
On Thursday, July 15, he was replacing Kossuth County Speedway in Algona, Iowa, when he made racist remarks that quickly went viral on social media.
Before the races started that night, Oelke railed against athletes who kneel during the National Anthem and the recent NFL decision to play “Lift up every voice and sing” – a composition from 1900 considered “the black national anthem” – ahead of its matches next season.
During the monologue in question, he described the song as being “for these people, I guess the darker skin color, I’ll just say, blacks”.
âHere’s our social service announcement if you don’t stand up for our flag, if you’re going to get on your knees … I have four words for you: find a different country. If you don’t, get Dodge hell Oelke also said.
You can hear the commentary in the video below:
The Fairmont Raceway’s response to the ensuing fallout was this now-deleted social media post, written by race track promoter Jon McCorkell:
Noting that Oelke had been making announcements at Fairmont for “many years”, McCorkell said he “agreed with all of Lons (sic) ‘s comments and opinions”.
“He will absolutely make the announcement tomorrow night,” the promoter promised.
In a follow-up comment, McCorkell said Oelke would receive “the loudest standing ovation,” according to the Globe Gazette.
Neither Oelke nor McCorkell responded to the newspaper’s request for comment.
Fairmont Raceway has been a local institution since the mid-1960s and, according to its website, is known as “the fastest half-mile track in the Midwest.”