Sunday night, June 21 local time at Talladega, NASCAR announced that they had discovered a noose that was placed inside the garage stall of Bubba Wallace, NASCAR Cup Series’ only African American driver. According to Bob Pockrass, the noose was found by a member of Richard Petty Motorsports, Bubba’s team in the Cup Series.
The incident, which became apparent for its racist implications, happened less than two weeks after Wallace successfully pushed the series to ban the Confederate flag in all NASCAR facilities.
“Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team,” said NASCAR via its official statement. “We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act. We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport. As we 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.”
Wallace, who has become the sport’s leading figure in its battle against racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death that has sparked an unprecedented amount of outrage across the world, reacted that the incident “serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in that fight against racism.”
As word of the incident spread quickly across social media, many fans, drivers, officials, and personalities from the sport as well as several other notable sportspeople across the world condemned the incident and showed their support to Wallace.
Seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who personally organized the making of this video that states the driver’s collective agreement on the need for a change, tweeted “I can’t begin to fathom the pain this action has caused. I stand with you.”
2012 Cup champion Brad Keselowski tweeted that the subsequent media attention that came from this incident is “exactly what the culprits want, attention and the fear that comes from it.”
Front Row Motorsports driver Michael McDowell tweeted: “The level of evil it takes to do something like this is disgusting. This is enraging and heartbreaking all at the same time.”
Rodney Childers, crew chief for Kevin Harvick, had already fell asleep when news of the incident first broke out. He would later tweet that he’s “Absolutely appalled by what I am waking up to this morning”.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. simply tweets “Hope Bubba wins it tomorrow.”
Mike Davis, Jr.’s long-time partner and the co-host of Dale Jr. Download, pointed out in his tweet that “Whoever did this will go the rest of their lives convincing themselves that their problems were caused by NASCAR or Bubba Wallace or the media when really they’ll be just from being a piece of s**t.”
The Athletic’s Jeff Gluck tweeted that he’s “Absolutely sick to my stomach and beyond disgusted” upon learning of the incident.
Matt Weaver from Autoweek tweeted “What sickens me the most is that this is certainly someone in the industry – someone close to us.”, noting the fact that there’s only team personnel, track officials, and officials from NASCAR that were allowed in the garage area as part of NASCAR’s COVID-19 guidelines.
RCR and RSS Racing driver Myatt Snider, who competed in the Euro Series last year with Racing Engineering, said “Get that s**t out of my sport. No place for it. Can’t wait for that person and their thinking to get expunged.” via his tweet.
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series driver Alex Sedgwick tweeted that he is “Absolutely disgusted people with this much hate inside them still exist. NASCAR and Bubba have been so vocal and active on social change, and this won’t stop that.”
Julia Landauer, who is scheduled to make her Euro Series debut with PK Carsport later this year, tweeted that “The actions taken against Bubba Wallace were so vile. I’m really sorry he’s experiencing this, simply for standing up for what is right.”
Gian Luca Guiglia, Euro Series’ PR manager, condemned the incident as a “despicable crap”, quoting what ESPN’s Marty Smith said to SportsCenter in its Breaking News broadcast earlier today.
Founder of Leadlap and Euro Series’ leading journalist Andre Wiegold states “It’s just disgusting” in his tweet.
NASCAR reporter for The Checkered Flag Justin Nguyen also condemned the fans who claimed that the incident was faked by Wallace, stating in a Twitter thread that “I’m still in shock and anger, not just at the incident itself, but at the dirtbags on social media who immediately say this is FaKeD and dOnE fOR AtTenTiOn or some other stupid crap.”
Racing Pride, the UK-based racing website notable for their goal to promote LGBTQ+ inclusivity in motorsport, states on their Twitter account they are “pleased to read that NASCAR has launched an investigation into this act against Bubba Wallace” and “No driver should be threatened for their race, gender or sexuality.”
Super Formula commentator Sam Collins tweeted that “It is clear that there are still some small minded racist people in the motorsport industry. We still have so far to go. Today I hope that Bubba Wallace sticks it to them and has a great race.”
Jens “Geinou”, the leading freelance reporter for Japanese motorsport in Europe, also condemned the incident, stating that “I was utterly shocked when I read the news this morning. I can’t even imagine how disgusted and scared Bubba must’ve felt. I really, really hope they’ll find out who did this and ban them for a lifetime. Their small mindset doesn’t belong to anywhere.” on his reply to Collins’ tweet above.
Super GT World founder and Daily Sportscar contributor R.J. O’Connell tweeted that “The real ones love the hell out of you, dude.”
PGA golfer Max Hova tweeted that he’s “never been much into NASCAR but I am damn sure rooting for Bubba Wallace to ball out in spite of all this BS he has to deal with.”
WWE wrestler Titus O’Neill tweeted “I stand with Bubba Wallace!”
Finally, LeBron James, who previously showed support to Bubba when he raced the Black Lives Matter scheme at Martinsville, tweeted “I’m right here with you as well as every other athlete. I just want to continue to say how proud I am of you for continuing to take a stand for change here in America and sports!”
World of EuroNASCAR have released a statement earlier today that condemns the incident, stating via Twitter that “The despicable stuff that this person have done to Bubba Wallace is absolutely disgusting and they shouldn’t have a place in our sport ever again.” Our founder Reza Maulana further condemned the incident, stating in a Tweet that the person(s) who did the act “needs to be eliminated from the sport for life, they have no place here if they’re willing to do that to Wallace.”
We are hoping that the culprit of this incident will be found and be banished from the sport for life and also be held accountable for the heinous act that he has done to the sport’s leading figure in its battle against racism.