President Donald Trump on Monday morning demanded NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, the only Black competitor in the top-level Cup Series, apologize for the scandal surrounding over a noose placed in his garage stall before the FBI found that it had been there months before the stall was assigned to him.
“Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX?” Trump tweeted.
“That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!” he added, referencing Wallace’s successful efforts to ban the Confederate flag from NASCAR properties last month.
In response to nationwide protests against anti-Black systemic racism, Trump has been vehemently defending symbols of the Confederacy as racial justice advocates push for their removal in public spaces, pointing to how Confederate emblems glorify those who fought to preserve chattel slavery in the U.S.
Several days after a crew member for Richard Petty Motorsports found a noose in Wallace’s garage on June 21, the FBI stated its investigation found that the rope had been in the stall since October 2019, before the garage had been assigned to Wallace that week.
However, the NASCAR star still spoke out about the situation during a CNN interview following the FBI’s announcement.
“Whether tied in 2019 or whatever, it was a noose,” Wallace said. “So, it wasn’t directed at me but somebody tied a noose. That’s what I’m saying.”
“This will not break me, none of the allegations of being a hoax will break me or tear me down,” he also asserted in the interview. “It will piss me off, absolutely. But that only fuels the competitive drive in me to shut everybody up.”
After the FBI concluded its probe, NASCAR said that they “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 organization said.