Bubba Wallace, the lone Black driver in NASCAR’s Cup Series league, was the victim of an alleged hate crime when a noose was found inside the team garage ahead of a race this past weekend. After an investigation, the FBI claims the item found was not a noose, but Wallace shot down those claims in an interview with CNN.
Wallace spoke with host Don Lemon regarding the noose discovery, which has become a point of contention for some who say that Wallace staged the event not unlike the alleged hate crime against Jussie Smollett. Wallace vehemently denied the FBI’s assertion that the item found was a garage door pulley, telling Lemon that he’s grown tired of the assertion that it was all fabricated.
“People that want to call it a garage pull and put out all the videos and photos of knots being as their evidence, go ahead, but from the evidence that we have, it’s a straight-up noose,” Wallace said.
Wallace added, “I’m mad because people are trying to test my character and the person that I am and my integrity.”
On Twitter, conservative pundits have been lobbing attacks on Wallace’s character, comparing him to Smollett and accusing the driver of stoking racial tensions in a sensitive era and at the heights of the Black Lives Matter movement nationwide. In addition, Wallace has been a vocal champion of diversity and was part of a charge to have the confederate flag removed from NASCAR tracks.
The FBI has decided to shut down any hate crime investigations and moving on from the case, but the ongoing chatter online has been relentless. However, Wallace vows to not let the doubters silence his voice.
We’ve collected reactions from Twitter below.