(Photo above by Science in HD via Unsplash)
NASCAR headlines have been almost inescapable this week. First, the sporting company banned the use of the Confederate flag at all events in response to the recent Black Lives Matter protests. But, NASCAR has not detailed how it will prevent fans from displaying the flag, and the rule has not been completely successful since its June 10 announcement.
Just 11 days after the racist symbol was banned, a noose was found in the stall of Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s only full-time Black driver in the top circuit. Upon discovery, Nascar stated that they were “angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act.”
However, an investigation conducted by the FBI found that “no federal crime was committed.” They concluded that the noose had been in the stall since 2019 and was not directed at Wallace. NASCAR then stated that the rope in question was only a garage door pull “fashioned like a noose.”
Though it was not found to be a hate crime, some are still unhappy with the circumstances. Wallace said that he’s “raced out of hundreds of garages that never had garage pulls like that,.” Similarly, even though it wasn’t directed at him, the rope, “Whether tied in 2019 or whenever, it was a noose.”
Others didn’t believe the FBI findings were true or sufficient. Some of the comments under the Buzzfeed article about the investigation include, “This story still doesn’t add up. I don’t buy that it was there beforehand and if so WHY?” and “Okay, so why was it placed there in 2019? Why wasn’t it discovered and removed before?”
Because the FBI investigation is complete, we may never know why the noose was there originally or why it was never removed. But hopefully, NASCAR will continue to make good on their promise to provide “a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing.”