Friday, 19 August 2022

Noose found in Bubba Wallace’s garage; NASCAR faces moment of reckoning

Posted On Monday, 22 June 2020 06:57 Written by
Rate this item
(1 Vote)
Bubba Wallace is pictured at Homestead Miami Speedway on June 14, 2020. A noose was found in Wallace’s garage at Talladega on Saturday, June 20, in the wake of NASCAR banning the Confederate flag. Bubba Wallace is pictured at Homestead Miami Speedway on June 14, 2020. A noose was found in Wallace’s garage at Talladega on Saturday, June 20, in the wake of NASCAR banning the Confederate flag. Chris Graythen | Getty Images

 

The shit has officially hit the fan in terms of how NASCAR takes on the lingering racists in its ranks. Pardon my French, but it’s no time to be polite: This is serious business.

In case you weren’t awake when the story broke late Sunday, the horrific news is that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team at Talladega. The 43 car is driven by Bubba Wallace, the lone black driver in the Cup series. This is, of course, right on the heels of NASCAR banning the Confederate flag after Wallace pushed for a ban. 

It’s a clear case of racist retaliation from an evil remnant of the past squealing their last breath before they are excised from the sport. It also comes on the same day racists flew a Confederate flag over the speedway, with a sign reading “Defund NASCAR”

NASCAR’s statement on the incident reads as follows: "Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team. 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. 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."

First of all, I’m disgusted that Bubba Wallace, a driver who only wants to race each week and battle for the checkered flag alongside his competitors, has to deal with this hatred. He doesn’t deserve it, and I applaud his dedication to the cause of standing up against racism despite the obstacles he has to face that no other driver does, solely because of the color of his skin.

Wallace issued a powerful statement about the noose incident, indicating it won’t slow down his fight against racism:

"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 and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism. Over the last several weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the support from people across the NASCAR industry including other drivers and team members in the garage," Wallace said.

"Together, our sport has made a commitment to driving real change and championing a community that is accepting and welcoming of everyone. 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.'”
"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," Wallace concluded.

To be clear, what I felt upon hearing about this incident goes far beyond disgust. I am incensed more than words can properly express, because it’s clear someone INSIDE the sport did this. Thankfully, due to the amount of cameras in the garage and limited amount of people allowed access due to COVID-19, the perpetrator will most likely be quickly outed. With no fans in the garage, it will boil down to being either a member of a race team, a Talladega track worker, or someone within NASCAR’s staff.

Some people online have called for Monday’s rain-delayed race at Talladega to be boycotted by drivers due to this incident, which essentially makes the track a crime scene. I won’t go that far, but all I can say is that NASCAR better have been working throughout the night to ID who the culprit is, and make their findings public ASAP — before the race would be ideal, if possible.

When the perpetrator is found, they need to not only be banned from the sport, but also face all legal consequences that are allowed, to send the proper message that this can never happen again.

There are already, to nobody’s surprise, shameful comments being spread online by racists about this being a plant, a Jussie Smollett “fake-news” situation. This is a ludicrous notion, and anyone who suggests so is revealing their true, hateful self for the world to see online. It’s pitiful, really.

I will also say that NASCAR needs to protect Bubba, at all costs. Seriously, who knows what kind of lunatics are out there beyond this one person? They can’t be too safe.

I like to stay positive, no matter how hard the times may be. So I will say this: In the end, the racists WILL lose this battle, both in NASCAR and in society as a whole.

We have reached a reckoning, a turning point, and good will win despite tough battles like this one having to be fought. And the sport, our fan base and the world beyond NASCAR will be much better for it.

NASCAR has the perfect opportunity now to purge the evil and hatred that lingers in the bowels of this sport. The relics must be gone, and there’s no time to delay.

NASCAR’s leaders are so far showing the proper level of concern, but they have to continue taking this as serious as possible, like DEF CON 5, or the sport will be thrown into the dustbin of history as a racist relic. All eyes are on the sport we love … Let’s show them what we’re made of.

====

Matt Myftiu can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Follow him on Twitter @MattMyftiu, and follow AutoTechReviews on Twitter @autotechreview.

           

Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

AutoTechReviews  is your home for In-depth reviews of the latest cars, trucks, and SUVs; information on all the emerging vehicle technology; and breaking news from the world of NASCAR and other motorsports.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter. Don’t miss any news or stories.

We do not spam!