NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace said he’s “pissed” that online trolls are accusing him of faking a hate crime after an FBI investigation concluded that a noose found in his garage stall Sunday had been there for months.
“I’m mad because people are trying to test my character and the person that I am and my integrity,” the stock car circuit’s only black full-time competitor told CNN’s Don Lemon in an interview Tuesday night.
Earlier on Tuesday, the FBI said the noose that was found at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama had been in that same garage since at least October 2019. The agency cited video evidence “confirmed by NASCAR” and noted that the company assigns garages the week before races.
“Although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week,” the FBI said in a statement.
The announcement came after days of widespread outage as critics believed that someone from inside NASCAR had intentionally placed the noose in the 26-year-old’s garage.
But the FBI’s suggestion that the rope was likely being used as a door pull has prompted a series of attacks on Wallace’s integrity.
The driver insists the rope was not a garage pull.
“It’s a straight up noose,” he told CNN. “The FBI has stated it was a noose over and over again. NASCAs leadership has state it was a noose. I can confirm that I actually got evidence of what was hanging in my garage, over my car… that it was a noose. Never seen anything like it.”
Wallace also said it doesn’t matter when the object was placed in the garage.
“It was a noose,” he told the network. “Whether tied in 2019 or whatever, it was a noose. So, it wasn’t directed at me but somebody tied a noose. That’s what I’m saying.”
Wallace had been leading a campaign to ban Confederate flags from NASCAR racetracks, a move that was met with fierce backlash from supporters of the symbol. On Sunday, for instance, a plane flew above the Talladega track pulling a banner of the flag that read “Defund NASCAR.”
© 2020 New York Daily News
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.