Bubba Wallace, the NASCAR Cup Series’ only Black driver, responded on Monday afternoon after President Trump called on him to apologize following an FBI investigation that determined a noose found in his garage wasn’t a hate crime.
Wallace said his statement was directed at "the next generation and little ones following my footsteps."
“Always deal with the hate being thrown at you with LOVE! Love over hate every day,” Wallace wrote on Twitter. “Love should come naturally as people are TAUGHT to hate. Even when it’s HATE from the POTUS..Love wins.”
NASCAR and the FBI launched an immediate investigation last month after a member of Wallace’s crew discovered the noose in his garage at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. The incident prompted an outpouring of support for Wallace in the NASCAR community.
The FBI ruled out a federal hate crime after determining the noose was a garage door pull that had been in place since at least October 2019. Wallace said he was “relieved” by the findings and thanked NASCAR and FBI officials for treating the incident “as a real threat.”
Trump ripped NASCAR for its handling of the situation and asked on Twitter why Wallace hadn’t apologized for what the president called a “hoax.” The president was also critical of NASCAR’s decision last month to ban the Confederate flag at its events.
“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!” Trump said.
In a statement, NASCAR said it was "proud to have Bubba Wallace in the NASCAR family and we commend his courage and leadership.”
“NASCAR continues to stand tall with Bubba, our competitors and everyone who makes our sport welcoming and inclusive for all racing fans,” the organization added.
In the recent past, Trump and NASCAR had a friendly relationship. The president served as the grand marshal of the Daytona 500 last February and took a ceremonial lap in his armored limo “The Beast.”