The FBI says that the noose found in the team garage of Bubba Wallace, Nascar’s only black full-time driver, was not part of a hate crime.
“The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall,” Nascar said in a statement. “This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment.
“We appreciate the FBI’s quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing.”
The FBI said there will be no charges over the incident.
A crew member found the noose at the Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday and it was reported to Nascar. An investigation involving the justice department and FBI was launched on Monday, two weeks after Wallace had started a successful campaign to remove the Confederate flag from Nascar events. The removal was not welcomed by some fans who paraded the flag outside the Talladega track at the weekend.
In an appearance on CNN on Tuesday, Wallace said he had received backlash on social media after the FBI’s findings were released, despite the fact that he did not find or report the noose.
“I’m pissed. I’m mad because people are trying to test my character and the person that I am and my integrity,” he said.
He added, that having seen the rope, it looked like a noose. “It was a noose. Whether tied in 2019, or whatever, it was a noose,” he said. “So, it wasn’t directed at me, but somebody tied a noose.”