Jasmine Razeghi writes on the racist act and what NASCAR plans to do about it.
On Sunday, news broke that a member of Bubba Wallace’s team found a noose over his garage.
Bubba Wallace is the only Black NASCAR driver in the top circuit. He led the movement to ban the confederate flag at NASCAR events. Wallace is also a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Today, the Department of Justice announced that they plan to investigate the situation in addition to the FBI. NASCAR told CNN that the garage where the team member found the noose is only accessible by race teams, officials, security, and health and safety personnel.
On Sunday night, the NASCAR driver released a statement on Twitter in response to the incident. He wrote, “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.”
NASCAR also released a statement citing their anger at the situation. “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,” President of NASCAR Steve Phelps vowed to ban whomever put the noose in Wallace’s garage for life.
Is this ban enough? In 2014, NASCAR launched a “Drive for Diversity” campaign in order to address the predominantly white and male makeup of NASCAR. Six years later, Bubba Wallace stands as the lone Black driver. Is their commitment to diversity just for show? While the league’s commitment to banning whoever placed the noose in the garage was a step in the right direction, NASCAR should address the sport’s culture. This confederate flag ban began less than two weeks ago.