UPDATE, with Bubba Wallace response NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace has responded to Donald Trump’s demand for an apology over the noose incident that the president called a “hoax.” In a tweeted addressed to “the next generation and little ones,” Wallace wrote, in part, “Even when it’s HATE from the POTUS…Love Wins.”
See the entire response below.
PREVIOUS President Donald Trump attacked Bubba Wallace on Monday, arguing that NASCAR’s only Black driver should have apologized over a report of a noose found in his garage stall last month.
Trump also claimed – inaccurately – that TV ratings have dropped due to NASCAR’s decision to ban Confederate flags from its race events.
“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? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!”
Wallace did not discover the noose-tied rope at the Talladega Speedway. NASCAR president Steve Phelps said he informed him of what had happened after officials were alerted by a member of the 43 team.
In a statement Wallace posted on Twitter on June 21, he expressed alarm. “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.”
Several days later, NASCAR reported that investigators found that it was a “garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose” and that it “had been positioned there since as early as last fall.” In a conference call with reporters, Phelps said that “Bubba Wallace and the 43 team had nothing to do with this,” according to Sporting News.
But Wallace defended his decision to speak out on the incident. He praised NASCAR and the FBI “for treating this as a real threat. I think we’ll gladly take a little embarrassment over what the alternatives could have been.”
On Fox News last week, he also defended his reaction to the reports of the rope tie.
“This wasn’t used as a publicity stunt on my end,” he told host Jesse Watters. “I don’t need all the fame and all the media hype to create my brand and create my image. People that know me, I’m 100 percent raw and real, and I just go out and give it my all on the racetrack, and I’m the human being that everybody else is off the racetrack.”
He said that the rope actually “was a noose.”
“Everybody has seen the image now, so to say we would go back and do things differently, I don’t think so,” he said. “Maybe word things differently? Yes, but I would – I would launch an investigation. I would have NASCAR or follow NASCAR’s judgment on it again.”
In the aftermath of NASCAR’s decision to ban Confederate flags from its events, viewership overall has risen since racing resumed in May, according to Fox Sports. On Monday, its executive vice president, Michael Mulvihill, wrote that “viewership on Fox networks is up +8% since returning from its pandemic hiatus on May 17.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.