Monday morning, President Donald Trump posted a series of tweets, one of which was aimed at NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace.
Wallace has taken a stand in recent weeks as the Cup Series’ only African-American driver, calling for the Confederate flag ban and running a Black Lives Matter paint scheme at Martinsville Speedway.
At Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR took immediate action after a crew member reported finding a noose in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall Sunday. This had followed protests outside the track regarding the sport’s decision to ban the Confederate flag. Wallace was told of the incident later by NASCAR President Steve Phelps and never saw the noose himself.
Before the race, which was postponed to Monday due to inclement weather, every driver and most crew members pushed Wallace’s Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 car to the end of pit lane and stood with him in solidarity.
The FBI was brought in, which later determined the object in question to be a garage door pull down rope fashioned in the shape of a noose, and that it had been there since October, 2019. NASCAR says no other garage door pull down rope was fashioned in this way, and they checked all 1,648 garages at each of the 20 tracks on the circuit.
The noose found in the No. 43 garage
Photo by: NASCAR Media
“As I mentioned on Tuesday, given the facts presented to us, we would have pursued this with the same sense of urgency and purpose,” Phelps said following the investigation. “Upon learning of and seeing the noose, our initial reaction was to protect our driver.”
Despite this, over two weeks later, United States President Donald Trump felt compelled to tweet at Wallace, tagging him and suggesting the driver should apologize. He referred to the incident as “another hoax” and made the baseless claim that NASCAR’s TV ratings are the lowest they’ve ever been following the sport’s decision to ban the Confederate flag. This is unequivocally false.
NASCAR has yet to respond, but Richard Childress Racing driver and two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Tyler Reddick has, tweeting: “We don’t need an apology. We did what was right and we will do just fine without your support.”
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