Advertisement

Trump calls for NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace to apologize for noose ‘hoax’

Bubba Wallace checks the sky during a weather delay before a NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday in Indianapolis.
(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

More than two weeks after a noose was found hanging in a garage stall used by Bubba Wallace, President Trump referred to the incident as a “HOAX” and called for NASCAR’s only full-time Black driver to apologize to the rest of the organization.

Wallace responded to the president’s tweet Monday with one of his own. It did not contain an apology. Rather it was a message “to the next generation and little ones following my foot steps.”

“Always deal with the hate being thrown at you with LOVE,” Wallace wrote. “Love over hate every day. Love should come naturally as people are TAUGHT to hate.

“Even when it’s hate from the POTUS.

Advertisement

“Love wins.”

Last month, Wallace successfully pushed for NASCAR to ban Confederate flags at its events. Prior to the scheduled Cup Series race June 21 at Talladega, however, people in vehicles lined the road outside the speedway displaying the Confederate flag, and a plane flew over the track pulling a Confederate flag and a banner with the message, “Defund NASCAR.”

That was the atmosphere when one of Wallace’s team members discovered a garage door pull rope fashioned into a noose. NASCAR put out a statement the same day, saying it was working to “identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport.”

As much as NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace has become a social activist and advocate for inclusion, he’s grown weary of fighting a battle that seems endless.

Advertisement

Before the next day’s race, a large group of NASCAR drivers and crew members walked with Wallace in his No. 43 car in a show of solidarity.

The FBI announced June 23 it had determined a hate crime had not been committed against Wallace because the rope knotted as a noose had been in the garage since at least last fall.

Trump, whose presidency has been embraced by white supremacists and nationalists, brought up the incident Monday in a tweet.

“Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX?” the president tweeted Monday morning.

Advertisement

The president’s statement overlooks a photo of the noose released by NASCAR and statements by the organization’s president two days after the FBI’s announcement.

“As you can see from the photo, the noose was real, as was our concern for Bubba,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said Thursday during a teleconference. “With similar emotion, others across our industry and our media stood up to defend the NASCAR family. Our NASCAR family. Because they are part of the NASCAR family too. We are proud to see so many stand up for what’s right.”

Phelps also stressed, “Bubba Wallace and the 43 team had nothing to do with this.”

Nonetheless, Wallace has received backlash over the incident and correctly predicted at the time that it wasn’t going away anytime soon.

Advertisement

“It was good for the public to see” the photo, Wallace told reporters June 26. “It still won’t change some people’s minds of me being a hoax, but it is what it is.”


Advertisement