Last night, NASCAR driver, Bubba Wallace was interviewed by CNN’s Don Lemon over the FBI’s finding that the noose was really a garage pull.
However, while the FBI concluded that the alleged noose was simply a door pull tied by a previous occupant, Watson indicated that his team had proof otherwise.
“From the evidence that we have — that I have,” said Wallace, “it’s a straight-up noose. Whether someone tied it in 2019…It wasn’t directed at me,” said Wallace, “but it was a noose.”
As one of the most successful African American drivers in NASCAR history, Wallace knows some question his truthfulness. In fact, he was a trending topic next to Jussie Smollett, the former Empire actor accused of faking a racial incident.
“It doesn’t matter if we provide evidence, photos,” said the NASCAR driver. “It will always be photoshopped. I will always have haters.”
He went on to describe how he learned of the rope’s presence in his garage.
“About 5:30 6 o’clock on Sunday evening,” said Wallace, “I was about to go out to dinner with a couple competitors and I get a phone call from [NASCAR] president, Steve Phelps. I immediately think, ‘What did I do? What have I done?’”
“The look on his face,” he said of Phelps, “I will never forget.”
“The conversation I had with Steve Phelps was probably one of the hardest things he had ever done. Tears rolling down his face.”
Phelps, according to Wallace, said a “hate crime” had occurred, and the NASCAR president said he would not stand for it.
Wallace told CNN’s Don Lemon of the noose, “I never saw it.”
Guilty By Proxy
Of course, many who were already vehemently opposed to the changes Wallace made to NASCAR hoped on the FBI’s statement.
The FBI said the rope was in place months before Wallace was assigned to the stall. They ruled that no federal crime was committed.
By going on Don Lemon’s show, a known target of the right-wing, Wallace was further imbued with the vitriol of those still in the convenient dark about discrimination.
NASCAR issued a statement:
“The FBI has completed its investigation at Talladega Superspeedway and determined that Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime. The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall.
“This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment. We appreciate the FBI’s quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing.”
Wallace said on The View he was offended but “not shocked” by internet rumors suggesting there was either no noose or that it had been placed there by NASCAR to garner support for the removal of the Confederate flag.
“People are entitled to their own opinion to make them feel good or help them sleep at night,” Wallace told The View‘s Sunny Hostin.
“Simpleminded people like that, the ones who are afraid of change, they use everything in their power to defend what they stand for.”
Wallace’s push for the removal of the Confederate flag and confidence in the face of danger has only created more fans for himself and the sport. Progress is messy but Wallace staying the course has yielded more positives than negatives.