A noose was found in the garage stall of Black stock car racer Bubba Wallace, NASCAR said Sunday, vowing to investigate to find out who is responsible.
NASCAR has launched an investigation after a noose was found in the garage stall of Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. and the No. 43 Chevrolet for Richard Petty Motorsports team Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR said in a statement released Sunday night.
Bubba Wallace the only Black driver in the elite Cup Series who just two weeks ago successfully pushed the stock car series to ban the Confederate flag at its venues.
NASCAR said the noose was found on Sunday afternoon and vowed to do everything possible to find who was responsible and “eliminate them from the sport.”
Read NASCAR issues statement on ‘heinous act’
“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.”
Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top series, has been vocal in recent weeks about stopping racial injustice.
Bubba Wallace said in a statement later Sunday that Sunday’s act would not deter him.
“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,” he said.
“As my mother told me today, ‘They are just trying to scare you,’” he wrote. “ 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 shocking discovery comes after the racing circuit banned the Confederate flag from events.
Wallace, a 26-year-old Alabama native, said he has found support among fellow drivers for his stance on the flag. He noted that in his tweet after the noose announcement.
NBA star LeBron James later tweeted his support to the black NASCAR driver, and called the noose “sickening!”
“Know you don’t stand alone! I’m right here with you as well as every other athlete,” he wrote. “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!”