Bubba Wallace has become the face of NASCAR in recent weeks as they look to move forward as a more inclusive and diverse organization. Wallace, the Cup Series’ lone Black driver, has been outspoken amid nationwide protests of systemic racism and police brutality, and helped push NASCAR to finally ban the confederate flag from racetracks.
That decision led to some backlash from fans, as NASCAR pledged to make races a more welcoming place for all fans, regardless of color, by banning a flag that is a symbol of racism and hatred. It’s a move that should’ve been made much sooner, but Wallace, who drove a car with Black Lives Matter decals last week, has praised NASCAR for finally stepping forward and speaking out on racial issues.
Wallace has received plenty of racial epithets on social media for speaking out, but on Sunday he was targeted by someone within NASCAR. Late Sunday night, after rain washed out the race at Talladega and pushed it back to Monday, NASCAR issued a statement that they were “angry and outraged” after a noose was found in Wallace’s garage stall and that an investigation was under way to find who was responsible and “eliminate them from the sport.”
NASCAR statement: A noose was found in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall today at Talladega.
NASCAR is investigating. pic.twitter.com/dGYFYryVES
— Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) June 22, 2020
Given that fans are still not being allowed on the infield at races, it had to have been someone (or multiple people) from one of the race teams that put the noose in Wallace’s stall as a threat, and as such NASCAR will seek to find out who it was and kick them out of the sport. It is a horrific thing to do and clearly meant to intimidate and push Wallace out of the sport.
There have been multiple Black Americans that have been found lynched across the country in recent weeks, and it is a serious threat that should not just yield a NASCAR investigation but also legal charges for whomever was involved as a hate crime. Wallace issued a statement on Sunday night, promising he won’t “give in nor will I back down” after this effort to intimidate him.