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Bubba Wallace expressed his gratitude to the FBI and NASCAR for handling the claim about a “noose” in his garage stall “as a real threat.”
After insisting on CNN that, despite the FBI’s findings that there was actually no hate crime involved, NASCAR’s lone black driver issued a statement Wednesday claiming he was “relieved” that what he feared was a noose in his stall at Talladega turned out to be a slip knot turned into a garage door pull.
“It’s been an emotional few days,” Wallace began in a statement he posted on social media.
“First off, I want to say how relieved I am that the investigation revealed that this wasn’t what we feared it was,” Wallace wrote, thanking his team and NASCAR as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation for “acting swiftly and treating this as a real threat.”
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) June 24, 2020
A swift investigation of the incident was conducted as NASCAR and the media dramatically reacted, heightened by weeks of racial unrest in the nation. Fox News host Tucker Carlson noted that more than a dozen FBI agents were assigned to the case.
“Bubba Wallace — who never produced pictures of the ‘noose’ — had a message for anyone who questioned his story: They were stupid and racist,” Carlson said on his show. “The FBI bought the story completely. They’ve done nothing to arrest the people burning police stations or tearing down monuments of George Washington. But the FBI sent 15 agents to Alabama to investigate the ‘noose.’”
The FBI concluded that the rope in question had been in place since last year and was simply a door pull.
Full statement from FBI: #nascar @NASCARONFOX pic.twitter.com/wJY14YDGDK
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 23, 2020
But Wallace doubled down during an appearance on CNN, telling host Don Lemon that “it’s a straight-up noose,” claiming he had evidence but showed nothing of the sort.
Bubba insists ‘it’s a straight-up noose’: ‘When the whole world’s laughing at you, go crying to knucklehead Don Lemon’ https://t.co/4kQ5CC1Jha
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 24, 2020
“It was a noose,” Wallace told Lemon just hours after the FBI announcement on Tuesday, “…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,” he insisted.
In his statement on Wednesday, he took a slightly different approach while still stressing that, despite no evidence of a hate crime being committed, and overreacting reports fanning the flames of division, the incident should not take away from a “show of unity,” referring to the tribute on the track.
NASCAR goes full BLM, allows kneeling during anthem, pays tribute to black driver Bubba Wallace https://t.co/A7skSpZxXV pic.twitter.com/hLjkRhJLOa
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 23, 2020
“I think we’ll gladly take a little embarrassment over what the alternatives could have been,” Wallace wrote.
“Make no mistake, though some will try, this should not detract from the show of unity we had on Monday, and the progress we’ve made as a sport to be a more welcoming environment for all,” he added.
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