On Sunday afternoon, someone reportedly snuck into the Talladega Garage and left a noose in Bubba Wallace’s stall. Wallace, who is the only Black full-time driver in NASCAR, did not see the noose himself, but a member of his No. 43 team reported the incident as soon as they saw it. NASCAR and the FBI conducted an investigation into the matter. The FBI later came to the conclusion that the noose was a “misunderstanding.”
On Monday, as a result of this horrendous and racist incident, all of NASCAR stood in solidarity with Wallace. Before the race, drivers walked together and walked Wallace’s No. 43 car to the very front in solidarity. Several drivers gave Wallace hugs and came together for a selfie in what was emotional and important moment for NASCAR and all of sports. It’s important to not only denounce racism whenever possible, but to come together to show that we are stronger than hate.
Racing legend Richard Petty also traveled to the race in order to stand with Bubba Wallace. Wallace drives the No. 43 Chevrolet for Richard Petty Motorsports. Petty, who is 82, had not attended a race since the coronavirus pandemic began but proudly hugged Wallace on Monday.
Bubba Wallace gets a hug from Richard Petty pic.twitter.com/n40IoagAe7— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) June 22, 2020
NASCAR also painted #IStandwithBubba on the field to condemn the bigoted actions that took place on Sunday.
This all comes just two weeks after NASCAR announced that it was banning the confederate flag from all events, stating that “the presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors, and our industry.”
Garages are already limited to restricted personnel only, and the limited access has only increased due to the coronavirus pandemic.