Last week, a video from a youth wrestling event in Independence, Missouri went viral on social media. The video showed a group of kids chanting “Let’s Go Brandon” and banging their hands on the floor. The chant is widely understood as a euphemism for “F*** Joe Biden”, a derogatory expression of disapproval for the current president of the United States.
The event was the Adidas Wrestling Nationals, which is open to grades K-12 and sponsored by Adidas, a global sportswear company. According to its website, the event aims to “provide opportunities for wrestlers of all skill levels to compete against the best competition, at the right time of the year, in order to grow and improve as wrestlers and people.”
However, some people were outraged by the chant and questioned the appropriateness of such political expression at a youth sporting event. Jess Piper, a Democratic candidate for Missouri House of Representatives, tweeted: “This is a youth wrestling tournament sponsored by Adidas Wrestling Nationals at Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence, MO. The children are chanting ‘Let’s Go, Brandon’ which means ‘F**k Joe Biden.’ #Indoctrination”
Others defended the chant and argued that it was a harmless expression of free speech and humor. Graham Allen, a conservative commentator and podcaster, tweeted: “WATCH THESE YOUNG MEN AT THE ADIDAS WRESTLING NATIONALS IN MISSOURI START DOING THE ‘LET’S GO BRANDON’ CHANT THEY ARE AN AMAZING GROUP OF PATRIOTS!!!”
WATCH THESE YOUNG MEN AT THE ADIDAS WRESTLING NATIONALS IN MISSOURI START DOING THE “LET'S GO BRANDON” CHANT????????????
THEY ARE AN AMAZING GROUP OF PATRIOTS!!! pic.twitter.com/jThX8t9YLz
— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) April 11, 2023
As you probably know, the origin of the chant can be traced back to October 2021, when a reporter for NBC was interviewing NASCAR driver Brandon Brown after he won a race. The crowd behind them was clearly chanting “F*** Joe Biden”, but the reporter misheard them as saying “Let’s Go Brandon”. The phrase quickly became a meme and a popular way for Biden’s critics to express their discontent.
— Ole Murica News (@OleMuricaNews) October 3, 2021
Since then, the chant has also been seen and heard at other sporting events, such as college football games, baseball games, and basketball games. Some people have also printed the phrase on t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, bumper stickers, flags, and even guns. I’d suspect that many of our readers have some sort of merchandise with that phrase on it.