The Noose-Shaped Knot in Bubba Wallace's Garage Was a Coincidence, FBI Says
Photo credit: Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images
By Road & Track
The FBI announced today that the noose found in Black NASCAR Cup driver Darrell "Bubba" Wallace was there in October 2019. Since she was there long before anyone could have known Wallace would use the garage, the FBI says that this precludes the possibility that this is a hate crime that is meant to intimidate the driver.
NEWS: The FBI has just released a statement regarding the NASCAR snare incident in Talladega, indicating that it is a misunderstanding. No crime was committed. The noose was there last year.
00:14 - June 24, 2020
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Many initially expected a foul after the driver supported Black Lives Matter and the sport's ban on the Confederate battle flag. Online theorists accused the driver of planting it himself, although the loop-shaped knot was discovered by another crew member and reported directly to NASCAR. Drivers and crews showed support for Wallace on Monday afternoon, while the driver on Twitter offered the following promise: "It won't break me, I won't give in, and I won't back off."
NASCAR, Wallace, and thousands of other fans, drivers, and team owners condemned what they said as a heinous act of racism as the series faces calls for more inclusion. However, based on photo and video evidence, the FBI found that there had been a loop-shaped knot in this garage since at least October 2019. It's unclear whether the sling was intentionally made this way, but Wallace's team I haven't occupied the garage before and last October nobody would have known which garage his car would be in for yesterday's race.
A Wood Brothers Racing employee who occupied the garage during the autumn race recalled seeing her there at work, according to a team Twitter statement.
"We appreciate the FBI's quick and thorough investigation and are grateful to learn that this was not a deliberate, racist act against Bubba," NASCAR said in a statement. "We are still determined to offer an inviting and inclusive environment to everyone who enjoys racing."
This story was updated on Tuesday June 23rd at 6:28 pm. SUMMERTIME. The original text from Monday June 22nd appears below:
NASCAR announced today that a snare had been found in Darrell "Bubba" Wallace's Talladega Speedway garage, resulting in an immediate investigation into the incident and a severe conviction by NASCAR and Wallace. This is because Wallace - the only driver of the Black NASCAR Cup Series - paints Black Lives Matter on his Chevy No. 43 and successfully prompts NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag.
"Late in the afternoon, NASCAR was warned that a loop had been found in the 43 team's garage," NASCAR said in a statement. "We are angry and outraged and cannot say enough how seriously we take this hideous act." We have initiated an immediate investigation and will do everything we can to identify the responsible persons and to exclude them from the sport. As we have clearly stated, there is no place for racism in NASCAR, and this act only reinforces our determination to make the sport open and welcome to everyone. "
The noose recalls the long history of lynching of black Americans who have claimed thousands of lives since the end of the civil war. For his part, Wallace claimed that the fear tactic would not prevent him from speaking for what he believed in.
"It won't break me, I won't give in or retreat," Wallace said on Twitter.
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