After a noose was reportedly found inside the garage of NASCAR diver Bubba Wallace's garage, the organization has gained praise for its handling and endured jeers from detractors. After doubt was cast by conservative pundits over the noose, NASCAR officials shared images of the noose all which confirms accounts yet some are still dissatisfied.
Using his public platform to champion the Black Lives Matter movement, Bubba Wallace successfully pushed for the Confederate Flag to be banned from NASCAR events. The article quoted NASCAR president Steve Phelps extensively, but it did not acknowledge ESPN's complicity in reporting on an unverified claim that spiraled into a short-lived controversy.
"Upon learning of and seeing the noose, our initial reaction was to protect our driver", Phelps said. "But you won't see them inside the racetracks where we're having a good time with the new fans that are purchasing their tickets, purchasing their favorite drivers' apparel". And guess whose? Yep, Bubba Wallace: "the one discovered Sunday in the No. 43 [Bubba Wallace] garage stall".
On Tuesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigations concluded that there was no hate crime at Talladega, Nascar said.
"We further determined that the noose was not in place when the October 2019 race weekend began, but was created at some point during that weekend". Among the 1,684 garage stalls it reviewed, it found that 11 had a pull-down ropes tied in a knot.
"No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race".
"In hindsight, I should have used the word "alleged" in our statement [about a possible hate crime]".
He added, "With similar emotion, others across our industry and our media stood up to defend the NASCAR family".
"Given that timing and the garage access policies and procedures at the time, we were unfortunately unable to determine with any certainty who tied this rope in this manner and why it was done". "Make no mistake, though some will try, this should not distract from the show of unity we had on Monday, and the progress we've made as a sport to be a more welcoming environment for all".
"It's exactly what you see on the flip side of everything going on and in cities as they peacefully protest", he continued.
Driver Bubba Wallace leans on his vehicle in the pits of the Talladega Superspeedway prior to the start of the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega Ala., Monday June 22, 2020.
We do love a brotha is a sexy pair of sunglasses!
The FBI's investigation revealed that the noose was not specifically targeted towards Wallace because it's supposedly been there since the previous year.
NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace is consoled by team owner Richard Petty, right, prior to the start of the NASCAR Cup Series at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala., Monday, June 22, 2020. Bubba has done nothing but represent this sport with courage, class and dignity.