Bubba Wallace Won’t Back Down After Noose Found in His Garage
Someone put a noose inside the Talladega Superspeedway garage of driver Bubba Wallace on Sunday (June 21). Wallace is a prominent Black driver in NASCAR's top series. Recently he'd helped push to get Confederate flags removed from inside racetracks.
NASCAR is investigating the incident, while the 26-year-old Wallace issued his own statement that stresses the apparent threat will change nothing for him. He was set to drive an all-black car with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on Sunday before the race was postponed until Monday afternoon. It's not clear who discovered the noose.
“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, in part, in a statement posted to 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."
Read his full statement below, followed by NASCAR's statement:
While banned, the Confederate flag was plenty visible outside the Lincoln, Ala., racetrack on Sunday. ESPN shares that vehicles lined a boulevard outside Talladega, waving the flag. Merchandise vendors waved the flag and reported that sales of Confederate flag-themed items were robust. Most noticeably, a plane pulled a Confederate flag with the words "Defund NASCAR" across the sky over the track.
"We are angry and outraged," NASCAR’s statement concerning the noose reads, "and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act. We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport."
After Monday, the next scheduled NASCAR race is Saturday (June 27) at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania.
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