An Announcer’s Political Statements Rankle Oregon And Washington Rodeo Fans: ‘it’s A Rodeo, Not A Trump Rally.’

Thousands of people filled Lynden’s grandstands for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo, but hundreds departed unhappy and uncomfortable due to rodeo announcer Jody Carper’s politically hated remarks.

The PRCA Rodeo took held during the 10-day Northwest Washington Fair.

Rodeo attendees flocked to social media to criticize Carper’s “divisive” and “inciteful” remarks.

The Lynden Rodeo began with a prayer, but Carper made offhand remarks regarding praying in schools, participants said.

Mike Howe, 32, and his fiancΓ©e attended the Rodeo on Monday. He expected some components, such as the traditional prayer for the cowboys and cowgirls, but Carper went too far.

“We came to see a cool show,” Howe added. “An announcer’s personal convictions can overwhelm a show’s goal.”

Howe said Carper spent 20 minutes on a highly heated prelude, including statements about conspiracy theories and safeguarding America.

Carper, who calls himself the “Patriot Announcer: Committed to Saving America,” didn’t reply to comment inquiries.

Howe stated Carper claimed his beliefs are not endorsed by the Fair, and Fair Manager Selena Burgess said they received “an overwhelmingly favorable response from two sold-out rodeos.”

An Announcer's Political Statements Rankle Oregon And Washington Rodeo Fans 'it's A Rodeo, Not A Trump Rally.'
An Announcer’s Political Statements Rankle Oregon And Washington Rodeo Fans ‘it’s A Rodeo, Not A Trump Rally.’

“We realize and respect that there are many different opinions,” she said. We believe Fairgoers will enjoy the vast selection of entertainment alternatives.

Burgess did not respond to any questions or efforts to talk with Matt Koetje or Phyllis Kramer.

Carper has been in trouble before. Carper’s remarks at the Chief Joseph Days Rodeo in Joseph, Oregon, provoked a news report and many letters to the editor two weeks before Lynden.

David Olmos of Portland wrote in an Aug. 10 letter to the editor, “A rodeo, not a Trump rally.” Not to listen to a man rant about ‘people wanting to ruin our country,’ religious freedom, and yelling ‘Let’s Go Brandon.’ Don’t talk politics. It’s a rodeo, not a Trump rally.”

Joseph resident Eric Pippert stated in an Aug. 10 letter, “I’ll take my rodeo sans jingoistic, dog-whistle political commentary, with a sprinkle of misogynistic and racial cliches.”

Howe and others were dismayed by Carper’s statements at Lynden’s Rodeo. Howe said anybody, regardless of politics, should enjoy the rodeo. He won’t attend next year’s Rodeo.

“I’m not interested in rodeos. I’d love to watch people ride horses and do exciting stuff since I never do, Howe remarked.

Catherine felt similarly, despite being a rodeo fan. Next year’s attendance is uncertain.

Catherine: “It’s intended to reflect the whole county, but we have a significant red-blue divide.” This is the Northwest Washington Fair, not the Lynden Fair; we shouldn’t alienate potential attendees.

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