Drafting Sports (USA), Jun 23.- The FBI reported Tuesday that the Nascar pilot Bubba Wallace was not a victim of a hate crime despite the fact that last weekend a rope appeared hanging in the garage assigned to his team on the Talladega Superspeedway circuit.
The lasso-shaped rope had been hanging on the garage door since last October, investigations concluded, according to the FBI.
“The rope for the garage door designed with a bow had been placed there since last fall,” Nascar said in its statement.
“This was obviously long before the arrival of the Richard Petty Motorsports team with Wallace’s 43rd car that was assigned the garage,” added the official information.
“We appreciate the FBI’s prompt and thorough investigation and are grateful to know that this was not an intentional and racist act against Bubba. We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing,” added the organization.
On Monday, the other 39 drivers and their crews joined Wallace in a pit road march as they pushed their car to the front minutes before the start of the race.
Then Wallace got out of his car and cried.
“This sport is changing,” said Wallace after the race, which finished fourteenth.
The 26-year-old Alabama born Wallace is the only black driver competing in Nascar and successfully lobbied the stock car series to ban the Confederate flag waving two weeks ago.
Red in color, with a blue cross, as well as white borders and stars, the Confederate flag is used as a symbol of pride for the white natives of southern states such as South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama or Virginia and is seen as a symbol of defense of African American slavery.
Investigative agencies concluded that no crime was committed and the evidence did not support the federal charges.
A crew member at Richard Petty Motorsports discovered the knot on Sunday at the Alabama race track.
The finding of the rope surprised the organizers of the stock car series, who have expressed their decision to distance themselves from the white public that defends the presence of the Confederate flags.
Some fans have criticized the ban, and Wallace, who has worn a shirt over his fire suit that said “I can’t breathe” for the past month, has stepped up his personal safety for fear of retaliation.
Talladega was the second race on the calendar reactivated in the midst of the new coronavirus pandemic, in which fans were allowed.
Five thousand of them paid their tickets.
Some fans upset with the flag ban paraded past the main entrance with the symbol of the South. On Sunday, a banner on the race track waved a Confederate flag reading “Defund Nascar.”