NASCAR: Noose Left in Black Driver Bubba Wallace’s Stall

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[NASCAR\Bubba Wallace]
NASCAR said in a statement that the noose was discovered in the late afternoon, on a day when its Cup Series race in Alabama — the first to have any fans in attendance since the organization banned all displays of the Confederate flag.
Photo: YouTube

NASCAR Bubba Wallace had a noose placed in his stall.

NASCAR officials vowed to “do everything we can” to investigate an incident in which a noose was found Sunday in the stall of Bubba Wallace’s team at Talladega Superspeedway, overshadowing Monday’s completion of the race.

Wallace, the only full-time African-American driver in the stock-car circuit’s elite Cup Series, called it a “despicable act of racism and hatred [that] leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society.”

NASCAR said in a statement that the noose was discovered in the late afternoon, on a day when its Cup Series race in Alabama — the first to have any fans in attendance since the organization banned all displays of the Confederate flag after Wallace pushed for such a move — will resume at 3 p.m. Eastern time.

The incident left Dale Earnhardt Jr. with one wish. “Hope Bubba wins it,” he tweeted early Monday morning.

“We are angry and outraged and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act,” NASCAR said. “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.”

In a statement on social media, Wallace declared the act shows “how persistent we must be in the fight against racism.”

“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,” he added. “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. 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,” continued Wallace, 26. “I will continue to stand proudly for what I believe in.”

ESPN reported that Wallace never saw the noose, and that it was immediately reported to NASCAR officials after it was discovered by a member of Wallace’s team. The Post’s Liz Clarke, who has extensively covered NASCAR, noted how closely the organization restricts access even when there isn’t a pandemic. It “controls entry into its garages,” she wrote. “Not just anyone can get into a garage stall, particular given tightly controlled access amid pandemic.” The Speedway, as of Monday morning, has not commented on the incident and it is not clear whether there are security cameras in the area.

Only 5,000 fans were admitted Sunday to Talladega Superspeedway as NASCAR took another step toward returning to action in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic. After shutting down in March, as did almost all major sports leagues worldwide, NASCAR began to stage races again in May, shortly before footage emerged of George Floyd’s death.

For the rest of this Washington Post story log on to: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2020/06/21/nascar-investigating-he...

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