Where there is racism, there are baseless conspiracy theories.
Following the discovery of a noose in the garage of Bubba Wallace — who helped spark the company’s new policy to prohibit the presence of Confederate flags at any events — NASCAR’s only African-American driver has to had to hear multiple ignorant and unfounded opinions being spouted online, suggesting the incident was staged or never even happened.
“It’s simple-minded people like that, the ones that are afraid of change, they use everything in their power to defend what they stand up for instead of trying to listen and understand what’s going on,” Wallace said on “The View.”
“It offends me that people would go to those measures, but again, I’m not shocked. People are entitled to their own opinion to make them feel good, to make them sleep at night.”
NASCAR President Steve Phelps was incredulous when he learned of the unsubstantiated accusations.
“That is something that personally offends me,” Phelps said. “This is a terrible, terrible act that has happened and those who would think that this is staged, I don’t even know where to go with that, frankly.”
Wallace, who was shown NASCAR-wide support during an emotional scene at Talladega Superspeedway, said he has since spoken with the FBI, which is currently conducting an investigation, as is NASCAR.
“I never thought that would happen,” Wallace said of his interview with the FBI. “It’s just unfortunate circumstances in a terrible time that we’re in right now. The year 2020 will be one to forget for sure. This just shows how much further we have to go as a sport, but also as a nation. Systemic racism is a problem from every aspect of life.”
Wallace was told about the noose by NASCAR officials and didn’t see it himself.
“I think it was better for me to not to see it directly,” Wallace said. “I don’t know how I would’ve reacted.”
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