Alabama Gov. Issues Statement in Response to NASCAR Noose Incident, Authorities to Investigate
Alabama governor Kay Ivey speaks out after a sling is found in NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace's garage.
On Monday, 75-year-old Ivey made a statement on "depicting hate" in her state and apologized to Wallace - the only black driver on the circuit - for the "damage it did."
The noose - a racially charged symbol of lynching - was discovered by a Wallace team member in his garage at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln hours after the race was postponed on Sunday, but was not seen by Wallace himself, according to ESPN.
"I am shocked and horrified to hear about yesterday's hideous act against Bubba Wallace in Talladega - there is no place in our state for this disgusting demonstration of hate," said Ivey. "Racism and threats of this kind are not tolerated or tolerated, and I am committed to doing my utmost to ensure that the responsible person is caught and punished."
"While the important conversation about racial reconciliation continues throughout our country, it is clear that there is still a lot to be done," continued Ivey. "Bubba Wallace is one of us; he's from Mobile, and on behalf of all Alabamians, I apologize to Bubba Wallace, his family and friends for the injuries they caused, and I regret the marks they leave in our state Has. ""
"I ask the NASCAR family to gather in today's competition for Bubba and his team, and I know that there are more people today who wish him all the best than ever before," concluded Ivey.
Michael Wade / Icon Sportswire on Getty; Matt Sullivan / Getty Kay Ivey and Bubba Wallace
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Following the disturbing discovery, the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed Monday that the FBI was investigating the incident, although it was unclear whether the law would result in law enforcement, according to the New York Times.
Jay E. Town, the United States' attorney for the northern district of Alabama, told The Times that they found "whether there were violations of the federal law," and noted that "regardless of whether federal lawsuits can be brought, they have Kind of lawsuit no place in our society. "
Meanwhile, many others rushed to assist Wallace after the incident, including NBA star LeBron James and former NASCAR driver Richard Petty, who owns the No. 43 Chevrolet that Wallace drives.
The 82-year-old Petty announced on Twitter on Monday that he would be participating in Wallace's postponed race and expressed his anger at the recent incident. According to ESPN, it is the first time that Petty has participated in a live race since NASCAR was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"I'm angry that someone has put a noose in the garage of my racing team," Petty wrote in a statement on Twitter. "There is absolutely no room for racism in our sport or in our society."
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RELATED: NASCAR says a noose has been found in Bubba Wallace's stable: "It won't break me," says the driver
"This dirty act reminds us of how far we have to go to dismantle racial prejudice and expresses my determination to use Richard Petty Motorsports' resources to bring about change. The sick person who committed this act must be found, unmasked, and expelled from NASCAR quickly and immediately. "
In conclusion, he said: "I stand shoulder to shoulder with Bubba, yesterday, today, tomorrow and every day."
Earlier this month, 26-year-old Wallace drew attention to Black Lives Matter during the NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. He was the first full-time black driver to drive the Cup series in almost 50 years.
For the race, Wallace's car was painted completely black and had the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on the rear side panels. The words "Compassion, Love, Understanding" appeared on the bonnet along with a painting of a black hand clutching a white hand.
Chris Graythen / Getty Bubba Wallace
Wallace also spoke out and pushed for the Confederate flag to be banned at NASCAR events, which the organization promptly did.
However, fans continued to wave and wave Confederate flags outside the speedway on Sunday, and even organized an airplane to fly over the course with a banner that said "Defund NASCAR", ESPN reported.
After the discovery of the noose, Wallace made a statement about the "despicable act of racism and hate" and wrote that the incident "makes me incredibly sad and painfully reminds us of how far we have to go as a society and how persistent we are must be in the fight against racism. "
"Nothing is more important and we will not be put off by the reprehensible actions of those who want to spread hatred. As my mother said to me today: 'They are just trying to scare you,'" he added. "It won't break me, I won't give in, nor will I back away. I will continue to stand proud for what I believe in."
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