NASCAR has issued a statement after the FBI has confirmed the “noose” incident was no “hate crime” at all and simply the case of a simply “garage pull” handle.
“The FBI has completed its investigation at Talladega Superspeedway and determined that Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime. The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall. This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment. We appreciate the FBI’s quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing.”
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 23, 2020
The FBI also issued a statement:
Internet sleuths noticed Monday that the garage pull used in Talladega garages is fashioned like a “noose.”
YouTuber Mark Dice posted a video about it.
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) June 23, 2020
Per USAToday, Sunday night after the GEICO 500 was postponed to Monday because of rain, NASCAR announced that a noose was found in the No. 43 team’s garage stall. It immediately opened its own investigation and said it would “eliminate” the person or people responsible from the sport.
Wallace, the only Black full-time driver in the Cup Series, has helped lead NASCAR’s response following the killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day and the subsequent protests nationwide and around the world. His most significant impact so far was calling for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag from all events, which the governing body did two days later on June 10.
On Twitter immediately following NASCAR’s announcement Sunday night, the 26-year-old Alabama native called the noose appearing to target him and his team a “despicable act of racism and hatred” that left him “incredibly saddened.”
“As my mother told me today,” Wallace wrote in his reaction, “‘They are just trying to scare you.'” This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in.”
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) June 22, 2020
A 2017 NASCAR Video showed the garage pull ropes used.