NASCAR has announced the investigation of a noose that was found hanging in the garage of NASCAR’s only Black driver Bubba Wallace.
Wallace was on hand at the Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama ready to compete but never saw the noose as it was spotted by a team member first, ESPN reports. That team member alerted NASCAR.
“Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team. We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act,” NASCAR said in a statement. “We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport.”
There were additional reports of Confederate flags outside the speedway, however, they are banded inside.
“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,” the statement added.
Wallace rides in the No. 43 car for Richard Petty and Chevrolet who released a statement.
“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,” Wallace said, addressing the incident on Twitter. “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. 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. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in.”