NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne is apologizing after drawing angry responses when he tweeted that he found a woman breast-feeding her baby in a supermarket “nasty.”
The driver, who finished in fourth place in NASCAR standings this year and recently inked a multiyear agreement to take over the No. 5 Chevrolet at Hendrick Motorsports, took to Twitter to express his disgust on Tuesday.
“Just walking though supermarket. See a mom breast feeding little kid. Took second look because obviously I was seeing things. I wasn’t!” he wrote, then graphically described what he saw. “#nasty,” Kahne added, “I don’t feel like shopping anymore or eating.”
The tweet from Kahne, who has over 100,000 followers on the social networking site, quickly led to widespread backlash.
“I hope someday you have a kid and someone tells your wife that feeding your child looks nasty,” Twitter user KnittingRad, who describes herself as a liberal, pro-choice, feminist mother of three responded. Kahne soon responded to her: “And your a dumb b*tch.”
Kahne soon removed the initial comments from his Twitter feed and took to his Facebook page Wednesday to apologize.
“I understand that my comments regarding breastfeeding posted on Twitter were offensive to some people. For that, I apologize,” Kahne wrote. “It was in no way my intention to offend any mother who chooses to breastfeed her child, or, for that matter, anyone who supports breast feeding children. I want to make that clear.
“My comments were not directed at the mother’s right to breastfeed. They were just a reaction to the location of that choice, and the fashion in which it was executed on that occasion,” he added. “I respect the mother’s right to feed her child whenever and wherever she pleases.”
He also directly apologized to Twitter user KnittingRad: “I wanted to apologize for saying what I said to you yesterday. It was out of line,” he wrote, adding that she is welcome to directly message him to discuss the situation.
The controversy comes the same week that mothers from across the country have posted pictures of themselves nursing at Target stores, as part of a “nurse-in” demonstrations at stores nationwide. The action comes after a nursing mother’s upsetting experience at her local Target last month.
Kahne spent 2011 driving for Red Bull Racing, and on November 13 finished in first place at the Phoenix International Raceway. At Hendrick Motorsports he will join a juggernaut team that includes Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.