UPDATE 6/24 7:45 a.m. ET: The FBI announced on Tuesday, June 23, that the rope discovered in NASCAR star Bubba Wallace’s garage stall was a door pulley that had been there since October 2019. As a result, the agency concluded that a hate crime had not been committed. In response, NASCAR tweeted, “We appreciate the FBI’s quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba.” Wallace, meanwhile, said on CNN on Tuesday night that he was “pissed” by the FBI’s findings, arguing, “It’s a straight-up noose!”
Original story below:
NASCAR star Bubba Wallace spoke out after a noose was found in his garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama on Sunday, June 21.
“Today’s despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism,” Wallace, 26, said in a statement via Twitter.
The professional stock racer, who is the only black driver in NASCAR’s top racing series, said that he had received overwhelming support from people in the industry prior to Sunday’s incident.
“Together, our sport has made a commitment to driving real change and championing a community that is accepting and welcoming of everyone,” he continued. “Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate.”
Wallace ended his statement by sharing a quote from his mother: “‘They are just trying to scare you.’ This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in.”
NASCAR announced earlier on Sunday that “a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team,” which Wallace joined in 2017.
“We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act,” the company said in a statement via Twitter. “We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport. As we have stated unequivocally, there is no place for racism in NASCAR, and this act only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all.”
The noose was found nearly two weeks after NASCAR announced that it had banned the Confederate battle flag from its events and properties in the wake of George Floyd’s May 25 death in police custody.
“No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race,” Wallace, who recently unveiled a Black Lives Matter paint scheme on his car, said on CNN on June 8. “It starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them.”
For more information, visit Blacklivesmatter.com.
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