Bubba Wallace says racing NASCAR’s final regular-season event is not ’turning away from dark and evil acts’

Bubba Wallace says racing NASCAR’s final regular-season event is not ’turning away from dark and evil acts’
(Source: Associated Press)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV/AP) - While NBA and Major League Baseball postponed games to protest the racial injustice across the nation, NASCAR’s only Black Cup Series driver took to Twitter to answer questions on the sport’s stance.

NASCAR has decided to race its regular-season finale on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.

Wallace, who recently found what appeared to be a noose in his garage in Talledega, has been vocal about his message to stop racial injustice.

A officer-involved shooting in Wisconsin stopped play for several sports, and even NFL teams canceled practice, to address the nature of police brutality in the country.

In Kenosha, Wisconsin, Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot seven times in the back by a white police officer, which prompted more protests and outcry across the country.

Wallace said on Twitter that by competing in Saturday’s race, it does not mean the drivers, nor the sport, is turning its back on the issue.

“I hope you all understand that by us continuing to race this weekend, DOES NOT mean we are stepping down and turning away from the dark and evil acts that have taken over our nation. Absolutely NOT!!!” Wallace Tweeted.

Instead, the 26-year-old driver from Cabarrus County said it will be a chance for the drivers to unite in the fight for equality together.

“I can assure all of you that myself and many of my competitors are continuing to work hard with @NASCAR to continue the efforts and the fight for racial equality. Let’s stand or kneel TOGETHER and continue push for what’s right,” Wallace said.

Wallace has been a leader in pushing NASCAR for more diversity and its recent ban on the Confederate flag at race tracks.

He was the first driver to address any action potentially planned at Daytona as other sports leagues have reacted to the police shooting of a Black man in Wisconsin.

NASCAR honored Black victims of police brutality, such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Blake, among others.

“Many of you are wondering “what will NASCAR do”....We set the tone for sports coming back during this pandemic,” Wallace Tweeted. “We stood up for change. We stood up for racial justice. We stood up for #GeorgeFloyd We stood up for #AhmaudArbery and #BreonnaTaylor..”

Wallace told NASCAR fans that he is “over hearing people say ’leave politics out of NASCAR.’

“They are the same damn ones that were drooling over the fact of the BIGGEST political person being at the Daytona 500 this year,” Wallace said. “Same damn ones that love when the Trump car is on track..Buncha damn clowns.”

Wallace had successfully called for the ban of the Confederate flag and received threats. Fans paraded past the main entrance of the Alabama track displaying the flag, and a plane circled above the speedway pulling a Confederate flag banner that read “Defund NASCAR.”

So NASCAR moved quickly when one of Wallace’s crew members discovered a rope shaped like a noose in their garage stall. The sanctioning body called in federal authorities, who ruled Tuesday the rope had been hanging there since at least last October and was not a hate crime.

U.S. Attorney Jay Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. said the investigation determined “nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned” to that same stall. NASCAR said it was the lone garage stall with a pull down rope that resembled a noose.

NASCAR has defended its reaction and insisted it would call the FBI again. A defiant Wallace said there is no confusion and the rope had been fashioned into a noose.

“I wanted to make sure this wasn’t just a knot,” Wallace said on CNN. “It was a noose. Whether it was tied in 2019 ... it is a noose.”