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Noose Found In Garage Used By Black NASCAR Driver After He Called For Ban Of Confederate Flag At Events

Matt Sullivan/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway

UPDATE, 6/24/2020, 16:37EST:

On Sunday, June 21, a noose was found by NASCAR officials hanging in the garage stall of NASCAR racer Bubba Wallace at the Talladega Super Speedway in Alabama. The racer had not seen the noose until NASCAR brought it to his attention.

A member of the No. 43 team found the noose, reported it to NASCAR security who then took it to NASCAR president Steve Phelps and his executive team. They then informed Wallace and then the press and public.

The FBI determined the incident was not a hate crime as it was not directed at Wallace specifically. However they did cite it may be a civil rights violation.

While they determined the Alabama raceway had a noose in their garage area as early as October 2019, they are not standard at other racetracks or even at Talladega. Every garage pulldown was examined by the FBI and NASCAR officials and only one was fashioned into a noose.

NASCAR is continuing their investigation to determine who tied the noose and why.

A NASCAR official told ESPN.com:

“There a lot of ways to tie a rope. This was unquestionably a noose. So, why?”

After NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace—of the Petty Racing Team—called for Confederate flags to be completely banned from NASCAR races, a noose was found in his garage stall less than two weeks later.

NASCAR did indeed ban all Confederate flags from races.

Many are saying that is why the only Black driver currently in NASCAR’s Cup Series was on the receiving end of a “despicable act of racism.”

Wallace shared his thoughts on Twitter after the incident.

@BubbaWallace/Twitter

NASCAR also condemned the act, saying:

“Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team. We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act.”

“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.”

Others joined in condemning the hanging of the noose.

NASCAR and the FBI have launched an investigation into the incident.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey also condemned the act:

“I am shocked and appalled to hear of yesterday’s vile act against Bubba Wallace in Talladega -there is no place for this disgusting display of hatred in our state.”

“Racism and threats of this nature will not be condoned nor tolerated, and I commit to assisting in any way possible to ensure that the person responsible for this is caught and punished.”

“While the important conversation of racial reconciliation is ongoing all over our country, it is clear there is much work to do. Bubba Wallace is one of us; he is a native of Mobile and on behalf of all Alabamians, I apologize to Bubba Wallace as well as to his family and friends for the hurt this has caused and regret the mark this leaves on our state.”

“I ask the NASCAR family to rally around Bubba and his team as they compete today and I know that there are more people who are wishing him well today than ever before.”

Ivey, however, signed a bill into law in 2017 preventing any Confederate monuments from being removed in the state of Alabama.

Wallace spoke after a race Monday evening on the Talladega Superspeedway.

Surrounded by fans wearing various #BlackLivesMatter symbols of unity and backed by other NASCAR teams, Wallace said “…the deal that happened…I wanted to show whoever it was, you are not going to take away my smile.”

Wallace shared a selfie with his NASCAR colleagues and team members on Twitter including Petty Racing owner “King” Richard Petty. The NASCAR legend and owner of Wallace’s racing team came out to the race in solidarity with his driver.

While there is plenty of hate from self-proclaimed NASCAR fans in the comments on Wallace’s Twitter feed…

…there are old and new fans of NASCAR offering support.

NASCAR will be banning whomever is found responsible for hanging the noose in Wallace’s garage.

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Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.