Just days after NASCAR announced that it would ban the Confederate flag from its events and properties comes word that the sport has been rocked again. On Sunday (June 21,) a noose was discovered hanging in the garage area of NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace.
Wallace is the only black man currently competing full time on the NASCAR circuit, and has been outspoken for his support of the Black Lives Matter movement in recent weeks.
“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 wrote on Sunday (June 21) on his Twitter page. “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.”
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He also reiterated that he won’t be backing down anytime soon.
“Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate,” Wallace added. “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.”
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) June 22, 2020
NASCAR also shared a statement regarding the incident and resolves to find those responsible.
“Late Sunday 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. We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminated them from the sport,” the statement read. “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.”
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It’s a sad state of events for the sport which will feature Wallace and his fellow competitors racing together at Talladega Speedway on Monday (June 22) after the Father’s Day race was rained out. According to People magazine, a banner showcasing the confederate flag was flown behind an airplane over the speedway on Sunday (June 21).