NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace dismissed an FBI investigation that concluded a noose found in the garage he was recently assigned to at Talladega Superspeedway was a garage door pull that had been there since last year and not a hate crime directed at him, with the 26-year-old driver calling it "a straight-up noose" in an interview Tuesday night.
“I’ve been racing all of my life,” Wallace, the racing circuit's only Black driver, told "CNN Tonight" anchor Don LemonDon Carlton LemonBiden's candidness can get him in trouble Tucker Carlson says he lies when 'I'm really cornered or something' CNN's Chris Cuomo taking birthday vacation as calls for brother's resignation grow MORE. “We've raced out of hundreds of garages that never had garage pulls like that. So people that want to call it a garage pull and put out all the videos and photos of knots being as their evidence, go ahead, but from the evidence that we have — and I have — it’s a straight-up noose.”
Wallace also said he hadn't seen the noose personally, but had seen photos of it.
"Whether tied in 2019 or whatever, it was a noose," he noted. "So it wasn't directed at me, but somebody tied a noose. That's what I'm saying."
Wallace said that other photos showing similar garage door pulls could be edited and presented as evidence.
“It doesn’t matter if we provide evidence, photos,” he said. “It will always be photoshopped. I will always have haters.”
The FBI had assigned 15 agents to investigate the incident over the weekend in Alabama and concluded in its summary that the noose found in Wallace's assigned garage was "in that garage as early as October 2019."
"The FBI learned that garage number 4, where the noose was found, was assigned to Bubba Wallace last week. The investigation also revealed evidence, including authentic video confirmed by NASCAR, that the noose found in garage number 4 was in that garage as early as October 2019," the Tuesday FBI statement reads. "Although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week."
"The decision not to pursue federal charges is proper after reviewing all available facts and all applicable federal laws," it concludes. "We offer our thanks to NASCAR, Mr. Wallace, and everyone who cooperated with this investigation.”
Wallace wrote Wednesday morning that he's "still standing proud and still smiling" in a tweet to his more than 400,000 followers.
Integrity..something nobody will ever be able to take away from me.— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) June 24, 2020
God will always test us to show how strong we truly are.
Still standing proud and still smiling.