As NASCAR probes noose found in Bubba Wallace's garage, trolls say it's just 'another Jussie Smollett case'
Wallace responded, 'As my mother told me, '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
NASCAR's only black driver and one of the most successful black drivers in Elite Series' history, Bubba Wallace, recently came under the scanner when NASCAR said it was investigating him after a noose was found in his garage at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama.
"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," NASCAR said in a statement. "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."
According to ESPN, Wallace never saw the noose. It was first seen by a member of Wallace's team, who immediately brought it to the attention of NASCAR. The news was soon circulated on Twitter. One tweet read, "It pisses me the hell off and it pisses everybody else in the sport off who care, not only for Bubba, but for every single person he is standing up for." @MartySmithESPN delivers a passionate message after a noose was found in Bubba Wallace's garage stall." Another said, "@NASCAR needs to suspend the season until someone owns up to this. Completely unacceptable."
"BLACK people aren’t surprised. Which I don’t say as an insult to NASCAR. Remember, whomever did this believes they’re just being a proud Christian American patriot," added another tweet.
Wallace, the driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet, doled out a long statement on Twitter immediately and expressed he was "incredibly saddened" by the act. "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," Wallace wrote on Twitter. "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. Together, our sport has made a commitment to driving real change and championing a community that is accepting and welcoming of everyone."
He continued: "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."
The incident comes two weeks after Wallace called for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag from being displayed at its events and tracks. More recently, Bubba got his car painted with #BlackLivesMattter on the side and "compassion, love, understanding" on the tail and hood prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
Bursting with rage after the deplorable incident, social media soon erupted with tweets. "Whoever did this should be prosecuted. Whatever team he was on should be banned indefinitely. They knew. And their sponsors should be banned indefinitely. Let them feel the sting of the master's whip. It's gotta stop. Now," one tweet read and another said, "Proud of you, man. Keep fighting the good fight. All of us right-minded folks are with you!"
Several people on Twitter soon started drawing parallel with the Jussie Smollet case. One blatantly tweeted: "Another Jussie Smollett case." "Remember when Jussie Smollett made up a story about a racist attack by white men? Complete fabrication to stoke the flames of hate. Where does that fit on your scale of wrongful injustices? one said.
Another posted, "I’m gonna tear something down. The Jussie Smollett rule: You don’t have to be honest. Just lie in the direction of the media & left-wing politics. Everyone will defend you. Push their agenda. If the truth comes out? They don’t care. They’ll move on the next event or lie." Many came to his defense. "The fact that Jussie Smollet is trending over Bubba Watson should tell you everything you need to know about racism in this country. Something disgustingly racist happens, and it’s automatically a false story. Gtfo," one said and another posted, "The notion that famous Black people orchestrate hate crimes as a stunt is racist AF. This "Bubba Wallace is the 2020 Jussie Smollett" comparison is racist, and I hope some young Black boys are inspired to pursue racing because of this. #BlackLivesMatter."