| NEWS NASCAR says noose found in Bubba Wallace's garage - ESPN

BAMANEWSBOT

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A noose was found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama, on Sunday, less than two weeks after Wallace, who is NASCAR's only black driver, successfully pushed the stock car racing series to ban the Confederate flag at its tracks and facilities.

"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."


Wallace never saw the noose, ESPN's Marty Smith reported. It was first seen by a member of Wallace's team, who immediately brought it to the attention of NASCAR, Smith reported. NASCAR told Fox Sports that it will work with law enforcement on the incident.

Wallace, who drives the No. 43 Chevrolet for racing icon Richard Petty, said in a statement that 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.

"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."

NASCAR has spent years trying to distance itself from the Confederate flag, long a part of its moonshine-running roots from the its founding more than 70 years ago. Five years ago, former chairman Brian France tried to ban flying the flags at tracks, a proposal that was not enforced and largely ignored.

This year was different, and it was Wallace who led the charge, calling for the sanctioning body to prohibit the flag.

But outside the track on Sunday, vehicles waving and flying Confederate flags lined the boulevard running past the massive speedway, and a plane flew above the track towing a banner of the Confederate flag that read, "Defund NASCAR."

NASCAR has not said how it plans to stop fans from displaying the flag on track property, and none of the instances Sunday at Talladega were inside the facility.

Andrew Murstein, the co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, told Sports Business Journal that he was "shocked and saddened" by the incident, adding, "You would like to think that the country has changed for the better in the last 40-plus years. Unfortunately, in many ways it hasn't."

Michael McDowell, who drives the No. 34 Ford, tweeted: "God help us. The level of evil it takes to do something like this is disgusting. This is enraging and heartbreaking all at the same time."

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James also weighed in on Twitter, writing: "Sickening! @BubbaWallace my brother! Know you don't stand alone! I'm right here with you as well as every other athlete. I just want to continue to say how proud I am of you for continuing to take a stand for change here in America and sports! @NASCAR I salute you as well!"

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is among the nominees for NASCAR's next Hall of Fame class, wrote on social media: "Hope Bubba wins it tomorrow."

Sunday's race, which was pushed back to 3 p.m. ET Monday because of inclement weather, is the first amid the coronavirus pandemic for which NASCAR opened the gates for up to 5,000 fans.
 

TerryP

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I don't watch racing/NASCAR but have been exposed to a little coverage of 'Dega this past week. It was my understanding that the infield was severely restricted (access) compared to the norm. That leads me to believe the majority of the ones that have access to the garage area are members of the crews, drivers, and the media with a few fans sprinkled in here and there. Maybe I misunderstood what I heard. Granted, I wasn't paying close attention to the reports.

But, if I heard that correctly it leads me to feel there's something severely amiss here. Logic tells me it's one of the three groups mentioned earlier (not discounting the possibility of a fan sneaking in.)

What I fear here is it's a PR ploy. An overzealous reporter? Or, and this disturbed me when I considered it last night, "is this another Jussie Mullet situation?"

Based on what's trending...seems I'm not the only one who wondered about that possibility.

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sk33tr

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that idea has been kicked around (like a soccer ball at a world cup match) on another site i frequent. and somebody brought up the exact thing about who is allowed in those areas. they also stated they couldn't believe that with $1m+ worth of equipment and the cars there, how there aren't any cameras in the garages. and he's right. how can they have THAT much expensive stuff and NOT have cameras set up?
 

BamaFan334

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Ha, Jussie Smollet was the exact comment I made on a Yahoo article earlier today. Nascar, like that guy's career was not getting attention and going down the toilet, so it wouldn't shock me to see an attempt to gain some headlines and notoriety on their new stance. Something is just missing. With as much as these crews are monitored for cheating, I find it hard to believe there is no video out there of this.
 

TerryP

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That's a given, is it not? I don't see how on earth they don't have camera covering practically every inch of the garage area. After speaking with a NASCAR fan around the corner this morning I'm told even when fans have unlimited access they're confined to a walkway. Tell me that doesn't lead you to think driver, crew member, or press member. The latter would be the least shocking of all.
 

rocknthefreeworld

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I hope for Wallace that this is not something he or anyone associated with him did. Not only would it pretty much mean he would quickly become persona non grata in NASCAR, but it would lead to a huge backlash. I can imagine tons of fans showing up with Confederate flags in protest of him and the NASCAR decisions.
 

TerryP

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Is that your opinion as well?

Here's the thing. How many times have we seen the media start reporting on a story and in the end we find out it was all a bunch of bullshit meant to drive emotions and anger?

Smollett. Nick Sandman. Hell, just this past weekend we saw NPR throw a article out about right wing people using cars as weapons with an image showing a guy getting run over. They DID NOT show the group of guy attacking the driver and him fleeing the scene.

We're seeing a lot of people rush to judgment here. And, in the end they may be right. It may have been a fan protesting the removal of the flag. The chances it's a fan versus someone with the NASCAR community? Again, the access that was available.

We don't know who it was right now so blaming anyone is premature in my view. Wondering about the possibility? The media is reaping what they've been sowing for years. We're conditioned to know there's more to the story because more often than not, that's the case.
 

XXL TideFan

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Tawana Brawley and Sharpton leveled the first racism/hate crime accusations. The others since that I can remember have been majority hoaxes. Black folks writing threatening/derogatory signs on their own possessions and screaming hate crime. The real deep rooted racism is black towards white.
 

mando

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Why is it if you question the reports you are automatically a POS and a racist? That is just as dangerous thinking. The report may be right but shouldn't the truth be the most important thing. You know that small nagging thing that you do not convict w/o proof or innocent until proven guilty. So many false or fabricated stories these days you have to be cautious. You should not be demonized because you pause and not jump to conclusions until all the information is available. To me that is smart and wise but not politically correct or expedient.
 

rick4bama

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I try watch some races last year. But when did this stage racing come up? What happen to the first to win deal?
 

bamanc50

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Mr. Sallee from your quote you already seem to have this all figured out. If people "think" Wallace did this to gain attention you say they're a POS and most likely a racist. You have already dismissed the fact, even during the investigation, that it could have been Wallace, someone associated with him, or some group trying to stir up trouble.
 

rammerjammer

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In all of this. I think back to when Lane Kiffen was at Tennessee and bristled everyone when he came in the league making waves and was all over every form of media. His statement was, "There is no such thing, as bad publicity".
Everyone was talking about Tennessee when he was there.

Nascar has fallen into that same category. The sport peaked int the late 90's early 2000's and they are trying their best to stay relevant is some way.
 

rocknthefreeworld

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The fact that people would think he might have had something to do with it is just proof of how many times the offended have actually been the offender. Lots of "hate crimes" were faked by the "victim" and people have seen it enough to at least wait for the actual investigation to start pointing fingers.
 

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