Bubba Wallace: NASCAR to investigate after noose found in driver's garage stall
Wallace: "This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in"; FBI and other authorities investigating incident
Last Updated: 22/06/20 8:05pm
NASCAR officials have launched an investigation after a noose was found in the garage stall of driver Bubba Wallace, the only African-American competing in the sport's top Cup series.
The noose was discovered in Wallace's stall at the Talladega circuit in Alabama, where a race was to be held on Sunday before being postponed due to storms.
In a statement on Twitter, Wallace said: "The despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism."
He added: "As my mother told me today, they are just trying to scare you. This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in."
NASCAR officials have said there "is no place for racism" in the organisation.
In a statement, they said: "We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act.
"We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport.
"As we have stated unequivocally, there is no place for racism in NASCAR, and this act only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all."
U.S Attorney Jay E. Town has also confirmed that the FBI, the U.S Government's Justice department, and the U.S Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama are aware of and are also investigating the incident.
"The U.S. Attorney's office for the Northern District of Alabama, FBI and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division are reviewing the situation surrounding the noose that was found in Bubba Wallace's garage to determine whether there are violations of federal law," Town said in a statement.
"Regardless of whether federal charges can be brought, this type of action has no place in our society."
Two weeks ago, Wallace successfully pushed for NASCAR to ban the contentious Confederate flag at its tracks and properties amid protests against the killing of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.