Following an investigation into the noose found in NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s garage in Talladega, where the FBI found it was not a hate crime, Bubba Wallace sat down with CNN’s Don Lemon to share his reaction.
“I’m pissed,” Bubba told CNN’s Don Lemon, about fans reaction that this incident was a hoax. “I’m mad because people are trying to test my character and the person that I am and my integrity.”
“They’re not stealing that away from me, but trying to test that,” he continued. “And as a person that doesn’t need to fame or the hype or the media, I could care less. I give two craps about that. To sit there…I’m reading too much into it. Investing too much time.”
Bubba then took a minute to tell his side of the story when NASCAR President, Steve Phelps, broke the news to him about the noose in his garage. Bubba made it clear, he had never seen the noose but was going by what he was told.
“I’ve never seen the noose, I’ve never reported it,” Bubba added.
Don broke interrupted Bubba to say that no one with any sense and no fair minded people are accusing him of doing anything wrong and that he can’t worry about what people are saying on social media.
Bubba went on to stand by his convictions. “The allegations of being a hoax won’t break me or tear me down,” Wallace said. “Will it piss me off, absolutely, but that only fuels the competitive drive in me to shut everybody up, to get back out on the track next weekend in Pocono and showcase what I can do behind the wheel under tremendous amounts of BS.”
“You won’t break me, you won’t tear me down,” he added. “Again, I will stand proud of where I’m at.”
It was Tuesday evening (June 23), when NASCAR announced that the FBI found that Bubba Wallace was not the victim of a hate crime.
“The FBI completed its investigation at Talladega Superspeedway and determined that Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime,” the statement began. “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.”
After news broke of the FBI findings, fans started sending hate Tweets to Bubba and NASCAR, calling the whole incident a hoax, similar to the Jussie Smollett racial hoax.
[RELATED: NASCAR Driver Bubba Wallace Speaks Out After a Noose is Found Hanging in His Garage Stall— “This Will Not Break Me”]
Bubba’s fellow drivers continued to come out in support of Bubba on social media.
“I’m relieved to hear this wasn’t a hate crime and I’m still so proud of how our sport came together yesterday,” Jimmie Johnson said on Twitter.
Racing writer Jeff Gluck shared a message saying, “I’ll say this one time: Absolutely NOT a Jussie Smollett situation. Do not blame Bubba Wallace. He never saw it and wasn’t the one to report it. He was TOLD about it by NASCAR and reacted like anyone else would.” Dale Earnhard Jr., like the Tweet by Gluck.
I’ll say this one time: Absolutely NOT a Jussie Smollett situation. Do not blame Bubba Wallace. He never saw it and wasn’t the one to report it. He was TOLD about it by NASCAR and reacted like anyone else would. https://t.co/FI7iSTvkbx
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 23, 2020
Bubba shared his own message on Twitter. “Integrity..something nobody will ever be able to take away from me. God will always test us to show how strong we truly are. Still standing proud and still smiling,” he wrote.
The 26-year-old will return to the track at Pocono Raceway this weekend (June 26-28) to get back to business as usual.
Integrity..something nobody will ever be able to take away from me.
God will always test us to show how strong we truly are.
Still standing proud and still smiling.
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) June 24, 2020