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.
People pick and choose when they want to be conspiracy theorist. Y’all believe the FBI today ? Ok. #BubbaWallace— Witchdoctoralex (@witchdctralex) June 24, 2020
There are three symbols of hate in this world: a noose, a Confederate flag, and a swastika. And they should not be on display at any time, anywhere in this country or anywhere else.https://t.co/OdrYQ0TDSL— Joe Madison (@MadisonSiriusXM) June 24, 2020
...🤪are we saying- a black man saw a rope- at NASCAR....and should not have assumed it was just a complimentary welcome package noose?...— lalah hathaway (@lalahhathaway) June 24, 2020
.@NASCAR still should be applauded for taking decisive action when the noose-fashioned door pull was discovered. It’s clear this was not a hoax. The display of support for .@BubbaWallace by his NASCAR family shined a bright light on the world during a very very dark period. https://t.co/FmhxorFjhO— Kathleen Hollings (@khhollings) June 24, 2020
really, check who's sending what tweet. most of the people really mad at bubba wallace that i see are the c/o 2020 and people under 100 followers.— bomani (@bomani_jones) June 24, 2020
Appalled by the smearing of @BubbaWallace’s character. He was called by the head of NASCAR and told about the noose. He - and NASCAR - responded beautifully. Bubba did nothing wrong except be brave and speak out. Accusing him of being part of a “hoax” is racist slander.— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) June 24, 2020
Many of these people having an irrational hate for Jemele Hill, Don Lemon and Bubba Wallace so openly, with everything going on. Racists are truly the scum of the earth and it's worse denying these people are racist and not condemning them harder.— Ava 💜💛🐝 (@AvaWarriors) June 24, 2020
THEY THOUGHT IT WAS A NOOSE BECAUSE THAT IS THE WORLD WE'RE LIVING IN YOU ASSHATS...NOT BECAUSE THEY'RE TRYING TO GET ATTENTION, WAGE A FAKE RACE WAR. RACISM EXISTS. BUBBA HAS DONE NOTHING WRONG. WAKE THE HELL UP.— Rachel Bonnetta (@rachelbonnetta) June 24, 2020