Reverend Al Sharpton on Wednesday called for further investigation into the “noose” found in African American NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s garage despite the FBI’s determination that the object was not put there to target him and had been present since 2019.
The FBI said on Tuesday, “The noose found in garage number 4 [at Talladega Superspeedway] was in that garage as early as October 2019…nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week.”
“It was a noose, so the question is even if they did not know that Bubba Wallace was going to use that stall, why was a noose in the stall?” Sharpton said on MSNBC Wednesday morning. “I do not think we’ve seen closure in this particular inquiry.”
Wallace was informed about the purported “noose” from NASCAR, which had received a report from a member of his pit crew.
“The photo evidence I’ve seen and have in my possession [shows] it was a garage pull that was a noose,” Wallace told NBC on Wednesday. “It was definitely in the shape of a noose. It wasn’t a functioning noose.”
Sharpton commented, “Clearly, from what we just saw from Bubba Wallace, it does not seem he, who is the victim and possible target in this matter seems to be satisfied with this.”
The FBI said in its statement on the case that no federal crime had been committed.
The fear of a racially-charged hate crime against Wallace came at a sensitive moment for NASCAR, which recently moved to ban Confederate flags at races following the massive George Floyd demonstrations across the U.S. Wallace has been an outspoken proponent of the ban.
At a race at Talladega on Monday, before the FBI released its statement, drivers pushed Wallace’s car to the front of the starting queue in a show of solidarity.