The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are investigating the discovery of a noose found inside the garage of Bubba Wallace, a driver at NASCAR and the only full-time black driver at the highest level.
According to the Wall Street Journal, on Monday, NASCAR stated the garage was only made available to a select few racing personnel before the discovery of the noose on Sunday. The FBI was at the scene on Monday afternoon to look into the incident.
No place in the event
The president of NASCAR, Steve Phelps, said that a crew member of Wallace's team was the one to find the noose in the garage on Sunday afternoon. Phelps added he personally greeted Wallace to notify him of the finding.
The official said that restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic caused limited access to the area and that security procedures near the garage were strict. Phelps added that the racing company requested assistance from the FBI on Monday morning.
Phelps noted the deed was unacceptable and that they took it very seriously and added that he wished to see justice be served to the perpetrator and have them banned from the event for life whoever they were.
Northern District of Alabama's US Attorney Jay Town wrote in a statement that his office, along with the FBI and DOJ Civil Rights Division were investigating the case to see if any federal laws were violated.
Town noted, however, that even if no federal laws were broken, the action had no place in the community.
The event comes at a time when NASCAR had banned the confederate flag from being used in all of its activities. The decision was made after the death of George Floyd, which also sparked international protests, as reported by NBC News.
Standing firm against racism
In a statement, Wallace stated he would be affected by the act and would continue to race with pride. He added that the horrific act which symbolized racism and hatred left him with sorrow, which reminds the world how deep racism is embedded in society.
According to CNN, a source with Richard Petty Motorsports, who Wallace races for, said the driver never laid eyes on the noose itself before it was found by one of his team members and immediately removed.
Co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty said on Monday that he was enraged by the act of someone planting a noose in one of his driver's garage.
Petty added the perpetrator must be found and exposed and quickly banned from any NASCAR-related event. He shared his belief that the act did not represent the other drivers he sees daily in the garage area. He also expressed his support for Wallace amid the incident.
Wallace revealed in a statement on Sunday of his gratitude for the overwhelming support that people from within NASCAR had given him. He added, however, that the incident with the noose raised additional questions of the security of the area and the restrictions in place.