Bubba Wallace on Confederate flag ban protests: 'We won’t see cops pepper-spraying them and shooting them with rubber bullets'
Bubba Wallace is aware that people may continue to protest the ban on the Confederate flag from NASCAR. And he also understands that they have the right to do so peacefully.
The Cup Series race in Talladega on Monday was the first on the track and in the state of Alabama since NASCAR prohibited fans from hoisting the Confederate flag on the tracks on June 10. Some fans protested outside the route with the Confederate flag, and one group paid for a large flag to be hoisted across the route by a small plane on Sunday.
"It is the right to peaceful protests," said Wallace when asked about the protests. "It's part of it. But you won't see them on the racetracks where we have a good time with the new fans who bought their tickets and their favorite driver's clothes. You won't see it fly there. They just do a lot outside Noise. It's part of it. It's exactly what you see on the other side of everything that's going on in cities when they protest peacefully. But we're not going to see cops spraying them with pepper and rubber bullets shoot it down, right? "
Of course, Wallace's last line is a reference to police actions documented nationwide in social media posts and news videos during the largely peaceful protests after George Floyd's death in Minneapolis. The most notorious example is the violent way in which peaceful protesters were cleared from Lafayette Square near the White House so that President Donald Trump could take a photo with a Bible outside St. John's Episcopal Church.
This was in contrast to the scenes in Michigan and other states earlier this year during the coronavirus pandemic, when armed demonstrators expressed their refusal to follow home stay instructions and other rules to stop the spread of the coronavirus .
Wallace drove a car to support Black Lives Matter the same day when NASCAR banned the Confederate flag. The NASCAR ban came two days after Wallace said NASCAR was supposed to prevent fans from flying the flag on tracks and three days after NASCAR had a moment of silence before its Atlanta Cup race.
Bubba Wallace and Richard Petty on Monday. (Photo by Chris Graythen / Getty Images)
"We will never silence them"
Wallace, the only black driver who drives full-time in NASCAR, has received a lot of vitriol in the past five days when NASCAR and federal investigators investigated the discovery of a noose in his team's garage. The FBI and U.S. attorney for the northern Alabama district said Tuesday that no charges would be brought since the noose had been in Wallace's garage stand since October.
Wallace never saw the noose on Sunday, the day it was discovered. He was informed about the snare by NASCAR President Steve Phelps. However, these annoying facts - and the fact that federal investigators said it was a noose - did not prevent a vocal group of opinion leaders from claiming that Wallace was part of an elaborate joke or set-up.
"I know that people will try to push me off the throne, on the pedestal that I stand on, on the same pedestal that I've been on for 16 or 17 years since I started," said Wallace. "Well, I'm fine. It's good. I love coming out and competing and having really good runs. It's just a motivation to go out and do really good races. We'll never silence them. You are afraid of themselves. They are afraid of change. Sometimes these are the people you can't help in the whole chaos of the world. They are the ones who need the most help. But you quickly realize that they are not about you care and I don't care about them. "
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Nick Bromberg is an author for Yahoo Sports.
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