On Tuesday, NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace slammed those skeptical of the claim that the driver was the victim of a racist hate crime after an apparent “noose” was found hanging from his garage by his team on Sunday.
“What would you say to those people that are doubting that this even happened, or that it’s true?” asked Sunny Hostin, co-host of “The View.”
At the time of Hostin’s question, the FBI findings were yet to be released, and a photo of the alleged noose had not been disclosed.
“It offends me that people would go to those measures,” replied Wallace. “But, again, I’m not shocked.”
“People are entitled to their own opinion, to make them feel good, whatever, to help them sleep at night, but it is still an ongoing investigation with the FBI,” he continued.
“It’s simple-minded people like that,” said Wallace of the skeptics, “the ones that are afraid of change, they use everything in their power to defend what they stand up for, instead of trying to listen and understand what’s going on.”
Hours later, however, the FBI concluded that there was no federal crime committed regarding the alleged “noose” found by Wallace’s team on Sunday. Moreover, in a statement released Tuesday, NASCAR said the rope in question had likely been in the garage since last fall, well before Wallace was assigned the garage.
“The FBI has completed its investigation at Talladega Superspeedway and determined that Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime,” the statement from NASCAR said. “The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall. This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment.”
“We appreciate the FBl’s quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba,” NASCAR added. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing.”
In a statement posted Sunday night, Wallace said he was “incredibly saddened” by the alleged “noose.”
“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 said.
“Over the last several weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the support from people across the NASCAR industry,” he continued, “including other drivers and team members in the garage.”
“Together, our sport has made a commitment to driving real change and championing a community that is accepting and welcoming of everyone. Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate.”
Wallace added, “As my mother told me today, ‘They are 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.”
.@BubbaWallace on those who believe the noose incident was staged: “It’s simple-minded people like that, the ones that are afraid of change, they use everything in their power to defend what they stand up for… instead of trying to listen and understand what’s going on.” pic.twitter.com/FikMntalwO
— The View (@TheView) June 23, 2020
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