NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace is responding to the FBI’s findings that he was not the victim of a hate crime. The FBI determined that the noose found in the No. 43 team’s garage at Talladega Speedway was actually a garage door pull that had been there since at least last fall.
The findings led to an outpouring of people online comparing Wallace to Jussie Smollett and saying that the entire incident was faked.
Following the FBI’s investigation and attacks against Wallace, the driver appeared on CNN for an interview with Don Lemon. During the interview, Wallace addressed those who are saying that he faked the noose incident for publicity.
“I’m pissed. I’m mad because people are trying to test my character and the person that I am and my integrity. They’re not stealing that away from me but they’re just trying to test that,” Wallace said. “As a person that doesn’t need the fame, doesn’t need the hype I could care two craps about that but I’m reading too much into it.”
"I'm pissed. I'm mad because people are trying to test my character and the person that I am and my integrity." – NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace on social media reaction to the conclusion of the FBI investigation into the noose found in his team's garage https://t.co/YH4ynYqv64 pic.twitter.com/fB0m9Yj9FD
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) June 24, 2020
According to Wallace, the photo he was shown by NASCAR of the rope in question was not tied like any garage pull he had ever seen during his time around racing or in garages.
“The image that I have, that I have seen, of what was hanging in my garage is not a garage loop,” he said. “I’ve been racing all of my life, we’ve raced out of hundreds of garages that have never had garage pulls like that.
“It was a noose. Whether it was tied in 2019 or whatever, it was a noose. It wasn’t directed at me, but someone tied a noose. It is a noose”
"I've been racing all of my life, we've raced out of hundreds of garages that never had garage pulls like that. … It's a straight up noose."
Bubba Wallace to Don Lemon. pic.twitter.com/HnJYpbPrlZ
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) June 24, 2020
It is important to note that Wallace was not the person to find or report that there was a noose in his garage. Those details initially claim from NASCAR who reported their findings in a statement and immediately launched an investigation. In a statement of their own, NASCAR made it clear that Wallace and his team were not a part of reporting the rope for an investigation.