On Monday (July 6), Donald Trump said that NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace should apologize to his colleagues for the noose “hoax” that led to an FBI investigation last month. He also argued against the league’s recent decision to ban the Confederate flag at races, which he claimed has caused the sport’s “lowest ratings ever.”
“Has [Bubba Wallace] 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?” Trump tweeted. “That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!”
A photo previously released by NASCAR has shown that a pull-down rope found in Wallace’s garage stall was tied into a noose. Wallace was first alerted about the rope by NASCAR President Steve Phelps. The league reported the noose in a press release and the incident was quickly investigated by the FBI. The investigation found that the rope had been in the stall since October 2019 and therefore was not found to be a hate crime against Wallace, NASCAR’s only top-circuit Black driver.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2020
During the investigation, Wallace’s driving colleagues and celebrities rallied behind him in support. The rope was a few days after NASCAR banned Confederate flags at their racing events, which Wallace had supported.
“I want to thank my team, NASCAR and the FBI for acting swiftly and treating this as a real threat. I think we’ll gladly take a little embarrassment over that the alternatives that could have been,” Wallace responded to the investigation’s findings on Twitter. “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.”
At a press conference following the FBI investigation, Phelps revealed that NASCAR had conducted an independent sweep of their garage stalls. Out of over 1,600 stalls, only 11 pull-down ropes had been tied into a knot and only Wallace’s had been tied into a noose.
“Anyone who would suggest this was a hoax, I find personally offensive,” Phelps said during the conference. “I don’t know how people think that way.”
See NASCAR’s photo of the rope below.