NASCAR has begun an investigation after a noose was found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace, its only full-time black competitor, yesterday afternoon.
“Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team,” said the series in a statement.
“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.”
Wallace has voiced his support for anti-racism protesters in recent weeks following the death of George Floyd. He has sported a ‘Black Lives Matter’ livery on his car and called for NASCAR to ban the appearance of the Confederate flag from its events.
NASCAR banned the use of the flag 12 days ago. At last weekend’s round in Talladega, Alabama, the second since the ban was introduced, several people were seen protesting with the flag outside the circuit.
“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,” the statement added.
NASCAR has begun readmitting spectators to races in recent weeks. The Talladega round was open to 5,000 fans, though Sunday’s race was postponed to Monday due to rain.
Wallace said the “despicable act of racism and hatred” left him “incredibly saddened”.
“[It] 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.”
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