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 noose was found at the Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday and was reported to Nascar, who in turn informed Wallace and the public. 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.
Before Monday’s race at Talladega, Wallace was given a stirring show of support by his fellow drivers and the pit crews, who pushed his car to the front of the grid. Wallace broke down in tears after the gesture.
“This sport is changing,” Wallace said after the race. “The prerace deal was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to witness in my life. From all the supporters, from drivers to crew members, everybody here, the badass fan base, thank you guys for coming out. This is truly incredible, and I’m glad to be a part of this sport.”
Nascar has only had four black drivers in its 72-year history, and has long been known for elements of racism in its fanbase. Another noose was found at a racetrack in California on Saturday, and an investigation is yet to be concluded.
The post FBI concludes that Bubba Wallace not victim of hate crime over noose incident appeared first on The Guardian.