A disgusting act took place this weekend at the Talladega Superspeedway after NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace and his team discovered a noose in their garage. With the racing league embracing changes such as doing away with the confederate flag and allowing racers to express their political aims, this attack could be a result of that.
Several outlets have covered the incident, which took place on Sunday (June 21). Local outlet The Anniston Star reports that NASCAR officials are launching an investigation into the matter and issued a statement regarding the act.
“Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team,” NASCAR’s statement said. “We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act.”
The statement continued with, “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.”
Wallace, the lone Black driver in the Cup Series grouping of drivers, and his recent activism has been praised by many within and outside the sport. Along with his activism, Wallace has been vocal about having the confederate flag, long considered a symbol of racism and division, removed from being displayed at tracks.
The noose was found just ahead of the GEICO 500 race, which was postponed until this coming afternoon due to weather. Wallace has since issued a statement regarding the act via Twitter, vowing to continue his fight against racism.
“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,” read the start of Wallace’s statement.
He added, “Over the last several weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the support from people across the NASCAR industry including other drivers and team members in the garage. Together, our sport has made a commitment to driving real change and championing a community that is accepting and welcoming of everyone. Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate.”
Stars from other sports, such as LeBron James, have voiced their support of Wallace along with fan reaction on social media rallying behind him. We’ve got those responses listed down below.