An African American NASCAR pilot who has found a noose in his garage insists that he does not “back off” is his battle to eradicate racism from the sport.
Bubba Wallace, who recently successfully campaigned to ban the Confederate flag from NASCAR events, is the only full-time black driver in the Cup Series. Bubba Wallace, pictured wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt before a race earlier this month
The sport’s governing body has revealed that the noose was discovered in Wallace’s garage on the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.
“Late this afternoon, NASCAR was informed that a noose had been found in the Team 43 garage,” said a statement.
“We are angry and indignant, and we cannot say enough how seriously we take this heinous act. We have launched an immediate investigation and will do our best to identify the responsible person and remove them from the sport.
“As we have unequivocally stated, there is no room for racism in NASCAR, and this act only strengthens our determination to make sport open and welcoming to all.“
Bubba Wallace ran a successful campaign to ban the Confederate flag from NASCAR events. Responding to the incident, Wallace posted his own statement on Twitter, welcoming the overwhelmingly positive response to his recent campaigns while condemning the “wrongdoing” of placing a noose in his garage.
“Today’s despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly sad and painfully reminds us of how far we have to go as a society and how hard we must persevere in the fight against racism,” writes -he.
“For the past few weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the support of people in the NASCAR industry, including other drivers and crew in the garage.“
“Together, our sport is committed to driving real change and defending a community that accepts and welcomes everyone.”
“Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the wrongdoings of those who seek to spread hatred.”
“As my mom said to me today,” They’re just trying to scare you. It won’t break me, I won’t give in and I won’t back down. I will continue to proudly defend what I believe in.”
The lack of diversity in motorsport has seen Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton launch his own commission to attract more blacks to the fore.
Hamilton also revealed on Twitter that he joined the Black Lives Matter protests on Sunday in Hyde Park, apparently unnoticed.
He wrote, “I went to Hyde Park today for the peaceful protest and I was so proud to see in person so many people of all races and backgrounds supporting this movement. It was really moving. I feel extremely positive that change will come, but we cannot stop now.