“Toxic Vile People Harassing Him”

“Toxic Vile People Harassing Him”

Ty Gibbs has been on the butt of a bad nepotism joke for far too long. After all, many racing children have driven their way into the highest echelon of NASCAR racing. Yet, very few have been able to show promise the way young Ty has in just his second full-time season driving his grandfather, Joe Gibbs #54 Toyota.

Fifteen races into the season, the 21-year-old has cracked the podium thrice already and finished inside the top 10 a total of five times. Two weeks ago Ty won his first Cup Series career pole at Charlotte. If anything, his haters must be cringing in disbelief, considering anyone who even dared to hope for his downfall in 2024 has been duly silenced. But as it appears, something else is bothering Ty, and many would agree the ‘social issue’ is certainly in his ballpark. However, the biggest surprise is undoubtedly the fans doing an unexpected 180 to rally against what most would deem a ‘Gen-Z’ problem.

Ty Gibbs rising above the ‘nepo-baby’ tag put in place by social media

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First of all, to clear the dubious debate. Ty Gibbs may be what many distastefully term in the 21st century, a ‘nepo-baby.’ But that is barely anyone’s fault, especially his own. The Gibbs family has been making history long before either Ty or his grandpa Joe ever set foot in the world of NASCAR racing. As is common knowledge, the latter sits dressed from head-to-toe in American Football glory.

For those unfamiliar ‘Coach’ Joe Gibbs is the only person ever elected in both the Pro Football and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He guided the Washington Redskins to three Superbowl wins from 1982-1991. The next year, Joe Gibbs Racing would make their Winston Cup debut with Dale Jarrett and the #18. Over three decades later, JGR has amassed 9 championship titles across two NASCAR National Touring series.

His elder son Jason Dean carried that legacy when he helped the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA win two NCAA Division I Football championships. J.D’s younger brother Coy, also the father to Ty Gibbs, once led the Stanford Cardinal football program in tackles as a senior. Both sons of Joe Gibbs would later dip their toes into NASCAR as drivers for their father’s race team. But everything has not always been sunshine and glory in the Gibbs household.

In 2019, J.D. would lose his life after a four-year-long battle with a neurological brain condition. Three years later, on November 6, right after the day his son Ty would gift their family race team the 2022 Xfinity Series title, Coy Gibbs passed away in his sleep. And just like that, tragedy shook the professional spectator sports community following these gutwrenching developments for everyone involved.

Young Ty, all but a teenager at that time would fight through these dark moments, alongside his mother Heather, under the tutelage of his grieving grandfather. Nevertheless, Joe Gibbs would admirably recover from these unfortunate situations to help his grandchild get up on his feet, fulfilling the legacy of his incredible family by granting Ty a full-time Cup Series seat. Two years since it would seem that decision was indeed, a stellar one for not just the Gibbs family but the entire organization as well.

However, many sitting in the grandstands disagree, partly due to what many would classify as an underserving fourth seat at JGR after a contentious rebrand of the #18. But especially because of a highly controversial 2022 season where Ty primarily ran the #54 car in the Xfinity Series. Some would remember the infamous fistfight with Sam Mayer on pit road following an on-track incident at the Martinsville spring race. But Ty truly ended up in the bad books of many forever when he spun out his teammate Brandon Jones on the final lap of the Martinsville Xfinity playoff race and then proceeded to call himself Jesus afterward.

This incident did not sit right with the majority of the NASCAR audience. Coupled with his often aggressive, caution-to-the-wind driving style Ty can be a little rough on the first impression. Regardless, that cannot change the fact Joe Gibbs’ grandson is a true generational wheelman. From winning his first-ever Xfinity race on his debut to sitting 7th in the 2024 drivers’ points standings, hoping for a decent playoff run, 21-year-old, Ty has certainly come a long way.

Yet it seems the constant pressures and sometimes unwarranted negativity of social media life have caught up to him. Also considering you’re Ty Gibbs, the hatred doesn’t always come from only one direction. It may be a common practice to make your official handles private to maintain one’s total emotional & mental stability.

On the other hand, it is uncommon to witness a future NASCAR icon block out the fans from all social media engagement. And that is exactly what young Ty Gibbs is currently doing. This sheds light on the detrimental nature of collective fan discontent on a high-level performer’s personal life. But quite surprisingly, the fans are slowly banding together to defend Ty’s honor on social media, in what could be deemed a fairly rare instance.

Mental health matters for NASCAR fans

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In a recent post on the NASCAR subreddit, one diehard raised the discussion: Why is Ty Gibbs’s Twitter account locked?” The Reddit user explained their original thought in a subsequent description text that stated, “I just noticed that Ty’s Twitter account is locked. It’s strange to see a public figure’s account being protected.”

As this fan joined in to valiantly defend a driver they do not appreciate a lot, they claimed, “I have no issue declaring that I’m no fan of Ty Gibbs but I truly hope he doesn’t have to private his account because of toxic vile people harassing him. I don’t care if he’s a public figure or not everyone deserves to live without threats, harassment, etc…” Another took it a step further commenting, “Just because he is a public figure doesn’t mean he has to have his social media account public; it’s really nobody’s business.” They added, Also, there are a lot of burner accounts just for friends and family…”

Others speculated a plausible reason for Ty Gibbs’ social silence with one fan referencing the conflicting ‘Martinsville incident’, “If he doesn’t want to deal with the hate, normally the social media team would run these accounts. Any idea why it’s locked? Did it happen after the Martinsville events?” Many clarified this comment and its sentiments with added info stating, He probably did it after his dad passed away. Either way, it isn’t a big deal. It shouldn’t affect you at all.”

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A thoughtful supporter placed an alternative perspective for everyone to notice, as they announced, “It’s likely for the best. I will always believe that being away from social media (especially Twitter) is better for you mentally, especially as an athlete in this case.”

Nevertheless, this fan had the perfect solution for the young lion, and maybe it could even help him rack up a few wins by the end of the season, should he decide to follow through on the advice. The concerned follower thinks Ty Gibbs “should go full Carl Edwards and get rid of any social media other than an old MySpace page.” Considering MySpace is now defunct, Ty Gibbs could do the same thing with his Twitter, perhaps?

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