A noose was found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR, at a racetrack in Alabama, the racing seriessaid in a statement.
“Late this afternoon,NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team,” the top American auto racing league said in a statement. “We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act. “We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport.”
Stock car racing has its roots in the American South, born in part from bootleggers who modified their cars to outrun the police. NASCAR, as the sport’s major league, races around the country but has some of its most iconic events at speedways across the South where for years the Confederate flag flew in the parking lots and was a frequent feature on caps and shirts in the stands. The Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama was scheduled for Sunday, but was postponed to Monday due to rain over the weekend.
In the wake of Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd, NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from its tracks and events. Yet Sunday, a plane flew the flag in the skies near the track with a banner that read “DEFUND NASCAR”.CNN said vendors across the track from the Alabama speedway reported sales of Confederate memorabilia had increased since NASCAR banned the flag.
Wallace said in a statement that his mom told him that the person responsible for the noose is just trying to scare him. “This will not break me,” Wallace said. “I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in.”
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