There were controversies but the story seemed outdated. That noose hung in the garage of Richard Petty's Team, and therefore of Bubba Wallace, the only black NASCAR pilot, before the Talladega race, turned out to be only a misunderstanding.
Time had passed. And instead US President Donald Trump returned to talk about the story, through a tweet: "Has BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!
" The noose had been found in the garage not by Wallace, but by his mechanics. And it was they who had raised the alarm. Those were the days of maximum tension after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. And above all after Wallace's request, immediately accepted by NASCAR, to ban the Confederate flags from the races.
Opening the garage and finding a hanging noose in Alabama had seemed like an almost Ku Klux Klan-style threat. All the more serious if you think that the race was without crowds and that therefore access to the paddock was very limited to those who work only.
The entire paddock symbolically escorted Wallace to the track to demonstrate his support. Hence Trump's reference. An FBI investigation was opened. From which however it emerged that that noose had been hanging there at least since October and that at that time no one could have predicted that the garage would be assigned to Wallace.
Reactions to US President Donald Trump's tweet
The first reaction to the president's tweet came from another pilot, Tyler Reddick: "We don't need an apology. We just did what was right and will continue to do it without your support."
As if to say that at that moment the threat had seemed likely to everyone. Wallace himself then replied with a message addressed: “to the next generation and to the little ones who follow me. Keep your head up and walk proudly on the path you have.
Always face the hatred that is launched against you with LOVE. Love instead of hate, every day. Love should be born naturally. Even when HATE comes from POTUS." In the days of tension, Wallace told several episodes, on and off the track, of discrimination he suffered.
A cousin of him was killed by the police while pulling a cell phone from the pocket of the jacket he was wearing. The agent who shot him believed it was a weapon. Furthermore, it is to be imagined the mood of an African American in an environment where the flags of the Southern States during the Secession War waved everywhere on the track.
NASCAR, against its tradition and obviously the opinion of part of its fans, has opted for the tender. And also on this decision Trump cleared up in the same Tweet: "That deception (of the noose) and the question of the flag have caused the lowest TV rating ALWAYS"
To specific question, Trump through spokesman Kayleigh McEnany replied that he was not cleared up in the affair, but that he wanted to express his support for the men and women of NASCAR. While he did not want to reveal his position on the announcement for the Confederate flags, although his comment on the matter seems to be rather eloquent.