After the Geico 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway had been cut short on June 21 due to “rain storms” in Alabama, the NASCAR event was moved to the following day on June 22.
However, it was soon overshadowed by a much more gruesome event that involved a noose being found in the garage stall of driver Bubba Wallace. There is now an investigation taking place by the league.
That action appeared to have been a tactical move to try and frighten Wallace, the only black driver in NASCAR. He played a big role in getting the organization to “inally ban confederate flags from events” while also being one of the more famous voices of the Black Lives Matter movement, even driving a car with the BLM paint scheme for a while.
The move to the confederate flags did not go well with several racing fans, and now the backlash might be inside the popular racing group.
Given the current situation with the global COVID-19 pandemic, there are no fans able to get into the infield and garage area right now, meaning the noose was put in Wallace’s garage by someone in NASCAR or a track employee. In any case, they promised to “eliminate them from the sport” when they find who did it, and Monday became a day for the sport, its drivers, and its race teams to lend support to Wallace, starting with #IStandWithBubba being painted on the infield grass inside the tri-oval.
The league tweeted a photo with the hashtag on its Twitter page:
All of the teams and drivers were helping to push Wallace’s vehicle to the forefront of the track area as a sign that they are standing behind the driver of No. 43.
Wallace even posted on his Twitter page the drivers standing behind him and his vehicle.
Wallace even got support, especially through a hug, from NASCAR legend Richard Petty, who also issued a statement on the noose incident:
Fellow driver Jimmie Johnson gave an interview with Fox on why he and other members of the sport came together to rally around Wallace:
It is great to see the entire NASCAR organization showing their love and support for Wallace, though one can’t help but wonder if one of those walking behind that car “could have been one of the people responsible for the threat of placing a noose in the 43 team stall.”
Now, we have to wait and see what more the league and their drivers are going to do help the support and assemble behind the Black community, rather than just give soundbites.
Still, what happened today before the Geico 500 was a start.
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Article Courtesy of Uproxx
First and Second Picture Courtesy of Chris Graythen and Getty Images
First through Seventh Tweet, Third through Fifth Picture, and First through Fourth Video Courtesy of Twitter and Uproxx