NASCAR Investigating Noose Found in Bubba Wallace's Garage at Talladega

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2020

Bubba Wallace stands for the national anthem before a NASCAR Cup Series auto race Sunday, June 14, 2020, in Homestead, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

NASCAR released a statement on Sunday evening saying it was investigating a noose found in Bubba Wallace's garage stall at the Talladega Speedway in Lincoln, Alabama.  

NASCAR said it would "do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport."

Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports shared the statement:

Bob Pockrass @bobpockrass

NASCAR statement on a noose in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace: #nascar https://t.co/rhBpywQ288

Wallace, who was the first Black driver since Wendell Scott in 1963 to win a NASCAR event when he won on the truck series at Martinsville in 2013, also released a statement on his Twitter account:

Bubba Wallace @BubbaWallace


The driver wrote in part: "As my mother told me today, '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."

NBA star LeBron James publicly supported Wallace:

LeBron James @KingJames

Sickening! @BubbaWallace my brother! Know you don’t stand alone! I’m right here with you as well as every other athlete. I just want to continue to say how proud I am of you for continuing to take a stand for change here in America and sports! @NASCAR I salute you as well! 🙏🏾✊🏾👑 https://t.co/1TwkjVHai5

ESPN's Marty Smith reported on SportsCenter that Wallace himself didn't see the noose and that somebody on his team found it in the garage stall. 

The act of hatred and racism comes in the wake of NASCAR banning the Confederate flag from its events and racetracks earlier in June. Wallace had publicly advocated for the removal of the flag. 

"No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. It starts with Confederate flags," he said on June 9, per Amir Vera and Steve Almasy of CNN. "Get them out of here. They have no place for them."

That decision has been met with some backlash among certain NASCAR fans, which included displays of the Confederate flag outside of Sunday's weather-postponed Geico 500:

Bob Pockrass @bobpockrass

Here is a view that shows where the Confederate flag is flying with the message “Defund NASCAR” https://t.co/4tQpUnJxfh

Per ESPN, "Vehicles lined the boulevard outside Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama, waving the flag and a plane flew above the track towing a banner of the Confederate flag that said 'Defund NASCAR.'"