After a noose was discovered in his garage on Sunday, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace has released a statement calling the act racist. In a post on Twitter, Wallace said that the noose was a reminder of how far the country still had to go in dealing with race.
"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."The noose was found at Talladega speedway and comes after NASCAR announced that it would be banning the Confederate flag at all of its events. In his statement, Bubba expressed appreciation for the support he'd received from NASCAR as an organization and his fellow drivers in recent days.
He continued, saying that NASCAR was trying to foster an environment in which everyone is accepted and welcomed. The driver said that he and the rest of the NASCAR community would "not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate."He said that he knows those who left the noose are just trying to scare him, but he won't back down and will continue to fight for what he believes in.
According to reporting from ESPN, Wallace himself never saw the noose. It was spotted by a member of his team and reported to NASCAR immediately. In a statement, NASCAR condemned the noose and said that it would conduct an investigation to discover who left it.
"We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act," said NASCAR in a statement on Twitter.
"We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport," the statement read.
It continued by saying that NASCAR will not tolerate racism and that it wants to make the sport welcoming to all.
After the news broke, many other professional athletes weighed in to offer support for Wallace. Some, like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson, were inside the world of NASCAR, according to Hollywood Life. Others, like Lebron James, were offering their support from other sports. Johnson's statement affirmed that he stands with Wallace, while Earnhardt wrote that he hoped Wallace got the win in the upcoming race at Talladega. Wallace is the only full-time Black driver in NASCAR, and he has recently used his platform to offer support for the Black Lives Matter protests happening across the country.