Kasey Kahne, NASCAR Driver, Tweets Against Breastfeeding In Public, Ignites Controversy Among Fans [UPDATED]
NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne got a mouthful from upset fans on Tuesday after Tweeting that he was disgusted by a mother breastfeeding her baby at a grocery store.
In a series of Tweets, the 31-year-old racecar driver said that the sight caused him to lose his appetite and his desire to continue shopping. (This story has been updated. Scroll down for new information.)
Kahne removed at least two of the remarks by Wednesday morning, but according to Mediate, the driver called upset mother Deana P. (@KnittingRad) a "dumb bitch" after she proposed he reconsider his remarks.
Kahne's Tweets, which are linked to his Facebook page, elicited nearly 400 comments and more than 1,000 "likes" from fans and foes on the social networking site, who debated their views regarding breastfeeding in public.
Opinions were various and included comments such as: "What's the world coming to??? Not a thing to do in a public place...I know it's natural but not in a supermarket..." and "I'm a nursing mother and as a FORMER fan I'm offended if my child is hungry I will feed him that's what boobs are for not for your eyes but their mouths you should be ashamed of yourself."
Breastfeeding in public has long been a controversial topic, and mothers have been shamed for feeding their child in places such as buses, planes, and shopping malls.
In November, Natalie Hegedus was kicked out of a Michigan court for breastfeeding her baby in the back of the room. Although Hegedus' breasts were reportedly fully covered, the judge deemed the act "inappropriate" for the courtroom.
Another mother decided she was fed up with the negative stigma attached to breastfeeding and encouraged mothers in the United Kingdom to participate in a breastfeeding flash mob.
Currently, 45 states, the District of Columbia and Virgin Islands allow women "to breastfeed in any public or private location," according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Idaho, Michigan, Virginia, West Virginia and South Dakota do not have laws in place. Breastfeeding is also exempt from public indecency laws in 28 states and the District of Columbia.
He wrote: "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. I respect the mother's right to feed her child whenever and wherever she pleases." (Visit Kahne's Facebook page for the full apology.)