As previously reported by The Inquisitr, on Sunday, before NASCAR’s race at Alabama’s Talladega Speedway (a race which was postponed until Monday due to rain), a member of Wallace’s team purportedly found a noose in the garage stall where Wallace’s car is kept and maintained before and after the race. The team member brought the matter to NASCAR’s attention.
Wallace is the only Black driver in NASCAR’s 3 racing series and has been an outspoken advocate for both the Black Lives Matter movement, indeed even going so far as to repaint his car with Black Lives Matter symbolism.
Wallace has also been an advocate for banning the Confederate flag at NASCAR events. NASCAR did indeed ban the flag, though that appeared to have not stopped a person from flying a plane towing a Confederate flag banner near the track.
The noose, meanwhile, has become a symbol of the period during which Blacks were routinely lynched and hung from trees as punishment for crimes of which they were never convicted, or simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Following the announcement by NASCAR that it intends to investigate the matter, now the United States Department of Justice has promised an investigation as well.
“The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Alabama, FBI and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division are reviewing the situation surrounding the noose that was found in Bubba Wallace’s garage to determine whether there are violations of federal law,” U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town said in a statement.
Town also noted that the agency may yet determine that no federal charges can be brought in this case, but added that “this type of action has no place in our society.”
Wallace, for his part, said in a statement that he was “saddened” by the incident.
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) June 22, 2020
Wallace’s boss also has his back. Richard Petty, the owner of Wallace’s team, Richard Petty Racing, said in a statement that he was “enraged” by the “filthy” act and promised to use his team’s resources to “create change.”
Similarly, Wallace’s colleagues on the track are supporting their competitor. Driver Corey LaJoie said that fellow drivers intend to put on some sort of show of support for Wallace before Monday’s race, which is tentatively scheduled for 3:10 p.m. local time (4:10 p.m. Eastern Time).