NASCAR is investigating after a noose was found in the Talladega Superspeedway stall of the only full-time Black NASCAR driver. Bubba Wallace had pressed NASCAR to ban Confederate flags, which it had already for its teams and workers but extended to fans at events. That made Wallace a target for racism even prior to the discovery of the noose.
Wallace said in a statement that “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.” NASCAR also released a statement pledging action: “We will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport. 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.”
A member of Wallace’s team found the noose and reported it; Wallace never saw it, not that that makes anything about this okay.
He made clear in his statement, though, that he understands what’s going on, saying “Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate. As my mother told me today, ‘They are just trying to scare you.’”
In fact, he continued, “This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to stand proudly for what I believe in.”
According to reports, NASCAR tightly controls access to its garages and there are cameras at the facility.