Sports | June 22, 2020 9:41 am

Noose Found in Stall of NASCAR’s Only Black Driver Bubba Wallace [UPDATED]

Wallace successfully pushed for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag

Noose Found in Stall of NASCAR's Only Black Driver
Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet, wears a "I Can't Breathe - Black Lives Matter" shirt. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty)
Getty Images

On Sunday, the Black NASCAR driver who successfully pushed for the popular stock car series to ban the Confederate flag found a noose in his stall as a reward for his efforts.

The noose was found in Bubba Wallace’s stall at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama on the same day supporters of the Confederate symbol waved the flag outside the racing venue despite the ban. Also, before Sunday’s race was postponed to Monday because of inclement weather, a plane flew above the track towing a banner of a Confederate flag reading “Defund NASCAR.”

NASCAR did not formally address the plane or its banner, though executive VP Steve O’Donnell did tweet a picture as a response.

NASCAR also released a statement on Monday morning about the discovery of the noose in Wallace’s stall.

“We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act,” the series said in a statement. “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.”

The racing series also pledged to find out who was responsible for leaving the noose in Wallace’s stall and “eliminate” them from the sport.

Twenty-six-year-old Wallace, NASCAR’s only Black driver and an outspoken supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, also released a statement on Sunday evening.

“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 wrote on Twitter. “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.”

LeBron James, who has consistently been outspoken about social justice issues, offered his support to Wallace on social media.

Racing legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. also offered his support to Wallace on Twitter.

Set to start at 3 p.m. ET, Monday’s rescheduled race will be the first in which NASCAR will open the gates for up to 5,000 fans.

UPDATE

Following the FBI’s investigation into the matter, it was determined that a hate crime had not been committed and that the rope which was found hanging in Wallace’s stall had been there since at least the fall.

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