By Michelle R. Martinelli |
July 6, 2020 2:53 pm
It was neither a hoax nor a staged incident, and NASCAR has repeatedly said Wallace, the only Black driver in the Cup Series, had nothing to do with its discovery and has represented “this sport with courage, class and dignity.” The FBI concluded no federal crime was committed and determined the noose had been in that particular garage stall since October 2019.
But more than two weeks after a member of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team found the noose in its garage stall, the president smeared Wallace in a disparaging tweet with multiple lies and illogical claims.
Trump wrote: “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!”
Monday afternoon, Wallace responded with a statement on Twitter about love and ignoring haters. He said his message is directed at “the next generation and little ones following my foot steps.”
“Your words and actions will always be held to a higher standard than others. You have to be prepared for that. You don’t learn these things in school. You learn them from trials and tribulations, the ups and downs this crazy world provides. You will always have people testing you. Seeing if they can knock you off your pedestal. I encourage you to keep your head held high and walk proudly on the path you have chosen. Never let anybody tell you can’t do something! God put us all here for a reason. Find that reason and be proud of it and work your tails off every day towards it! All the haters are doing is elevating your voice and platform to much greater heights!
Last thing, always deal with the hate being thrown at you with LOVE! Love over hate every day. Love should some naturally as people are TAUGHT to hate.
Even when it’s HATE from the POTUS.
By the time Wallace tweeted Monday afternoon, only a few people in the NASCAR industry had spoken out in his defense, including Jimmie Johnson and Richard Petty Motorsports co-owner Andrew Murstein. Cup Series rookie Tyler Reddick also wrote in a now-deleted quote tweet: “We don’t need an apology. We did what was right and we will do just fine without your support.”
Richard Petty Motorsports’ account also tweeted a graphic that included #IStandWithBubba.
In response to For The Win’s request for a comment on Trump’s tweet about Wallace, NASCAR said via email:
“We are proud to have Bubba Wallace in the NASCAR family and we commend his courage and leadership. NASCAR continues to stand tall with Bubba, our competitors and everyone who makes our sport welcoming and inclusive for all racing fans.”
In response to Wallace’s reaction, LeBron James tweeted his support for the 26-year-old driver:
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