A noose was found in the garage used by Bubba Wallace, the only black driver currently competing in the NASCAR’s Elite Cup Series. According to ESPN, the noose was seen and discovered by a member of Wallace’s team, and he immediately reported the horrific incident.
The FBI announced on Monday that they would be examining the incident as well. However, they said Wallace was not the target of a hate crime after investigation.
It was revealed on Tuesday that the noose found in Wallace’s stall is a door-pull rope and was in the garage since October 2019.
According to the FBI, reports conclude, and photographic evidence proves that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been in position there as early as last fall.
They also added, “Although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week.” Hence, there will be no charges for the incident.
Support For Wallace
Less than 24 hours after the noose was discovered in his garage stall, Wallace was greeted by a group of NASCAR drivers and crew members who walked alongside him and escorted him through across the Talladega International Speedway. Wallace’s car was followed and pushed by a large group of people, while Wallace wore an American flag face mask and emotionally hugged the supporters.
Wallace later posted a tweet of a selfie with the crowd and wrote “Together.” He wore a t-shirt that said “I can’t breathe. #BLACKLIVESMATTER.” All of his supporters sent a powerful message to the world: “We stand with Bubba Wallace.” NASCAR also tweeted, “We are one family.”
Wallace’s fellow drivers and members expressed their true feelings and emotions during an interview and mentioned that the news disturbed them all, and they want justice for the whole NASCAR family.
Outraged by the incident, NASCAR said it is investigating who, when, and how this happened. The racing organization said there is no place for racism in NASCAR, and this would only strengthen its determination to make the sport more open and welcoming to all.
Despite breaking down in tears before the race and finishing 14th in the event, Wallace had positive words to say during an interview. “Sorry I’m not wearing my mask,” said Wallace. “but I wanted to show whoever it was with that you’re not going to take away my smile, and I’m going to keep going.”
NASCAR banned the confederate flag after receiving requests from Wallace and several drivers amid the protests about racial injustice. But some NASCAR fans were not happy with the decision as they view the confederate flag as being part of the Southern heritage, not as a symbol of racism.
On Sunday, an airplane flew a confederate flag to protest the ban, and a banner was attached to it that said, “Defund NASCAR.”
NASCAR president Steve Phelps was thankful and said with relief that the incident was not an intentional, racist act against Wallace. “For us in NASCAR, this is the best result we could hope for,” said Phelps.
Nevertheless, Phelps decided to continue its investigation on why the rope tied as a noose and placed there in the first place.
The Wood Brothers Racing team assisted the investigation by saying one of its employees informed the team about seeing a tied handle in the garage pull-down rope from last fall, when NASCAR raced at Talladega in October 2019.