By now you likely heard of the NASCAR incident at the Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. Bubba Wallce, the only African-American driver in the league, allegedly found a noose hanging from his garage pit stall on Saturday. Now, as a NASCAR fan since 1998, I wanted to abide by the seventy-two hour rule for racial incidents, since so many of them seem to be contrived.
Here is ESPN’s ridiculous take:
To the one(s) who thought they could dip into the tired, old 1934 or 1964 racist playbook and elicit fear by placing a symbol of hate — a noose, for heaven’s sake — in the garage stall of a Black race car driver, I really need to make sure you are paying attention to what I have to say to you.
Oh, and the grown adult or adults who spent hundreds of dollars to fly a “DEFUND NASCAR” banner and Confederate flag behind a plane over Talladega, you should listen up too. Same for you rednecks who drove a parade of pickups around the perimeter of the racetrack with that same flag flying out of the beds of your 4x4s. Or even you, who wandered onto the property at Sonoma Raceway and hung “a piece of twine tied in what appeared to be a noose” from a tree.
Have their been legitimate racial incidents during NASCAR’s seventy-two year history? Of course. Are there still “rednecks” who attend races? Certainly. It the sport or the fan-base filled with raging racists? Absolutely not. I know, because I have been to many, many races at tracks across the country (Pocono, Dover, Richmond, Daytona).
I can also tell you every time I have been to a race, the fans have been nothing but friendly to everyone of every creed and color. I have never seen a fight at a NASCAR race. Ever. Can the NFL say that?
My initial reaction was while this incident may have happened, I sincerely believe this is either a misunderstanding, or an outright hoax…