NBA star LeBron James has condemned the ‘sickening’ news of a noose found hanging in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega.
Wallace is the only black driver who races full-time in NASCAR’s top three series and has been outspoken about racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s death on May 25.
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But NASCAR announced its shock in a statement after a noose was found in his garage, which coincides with the first race since NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from its properties on June 10.
“Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team,” officials said in a statement.
“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.”
The horrible news sparked a strong reaction from James, who offered Wallace his support.
“Sickening! Bubba Wallace my brother! Know you don’t stand alone! I’m right here with you as well as every other athlete,” he wrote, following the incident.
“I just want to continue to say how proud I am of you for continuing to take a stand for change here in America and sports! NASCAR I salute you as well!”
Sickening! @BubbaWallace my brother! Know you don’t stand alone! I’m right here with you as well as every other athlete. I just want to continue to say how proud I am of you for continuing to take a stand for change here in America and sports! @NASCAR I salute you as well! 🙏🏾✊🏾👑 https://t.co/1TwkjVHai5— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 22, 2020
Racers Kenny Wallace, JR Hildebrand and other stars also showed their support for the NASCAR driver during these difficult times.
I’ve been working in my race shop all night.. Around 11:30 at night i washed my hands and got on twitter to see what’s up.. UGH😔.. I am So Sorry my brother @BubbaWallace has to go through this HORRIBLE situation.. I love you, Bubba. #IStandWithBubba— Kenny Wallace (@Kenny_Wallace) June 22, 2020
Just disgusting. Imagine how small & self-loathing whoever did this must feel - and to be so cowardly that they don't even own up to it.— JR Hildebrand (@JRHildebrand) June 22, 2020
@BubbaWallace on your worst day you're 10X the man this person is. Keep the hammer down and bring it, you got my full support FWIW.
This is so gross and pathetic. I’ve never been much into NASCAR but I am damn sure rooting for @BubbaWallace to ball out in spite of all this BS he has to deal with. Be better people https://t.co/XG1jDUEJBS— max homa (@maxhoma23) June 22, 2020
"It pisses me the hell off and it pisses everybody else in the sport off who care, not only for Bubba, but for every single person he is standing up for."@MartySmithESPN delivers a passionate message after a noose was found in Bubba Wallace's garage stall. pic.twitter.com/hyAbxh7uSW— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 22, 2020
NASCAR world in disbelief over ‘despicable’ act
Wallace also took to social media in a state of shock.
“Today’s 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,” Wallace wrote on Twitter.
“Over the last several weeks I have been overwhelmed by the support from people across the NASCAR industry including other drivers and team members in the garage.
“Together our sport has made a commitment to driving real change and championing a community that is accepting and welcoming of everyone.
“Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate.
“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.”
with Yahoo Sports and agencies