Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY
Published 12:22 p.m. ET June 22, 2020 | Updated 1:27 p.m. ET June 22, 2020
SportsPulse: The sports world rallied around Bubba Wallace after a noose was found in his garage at Talladega Motor Speedway this past weekend. Now NASCAR is looking to bring the hammer down on whoever is responsible.
The United States Department of Justice announced Monday that it will be looking into the noose found in NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway in an attempt to determine if federal law was broken. The FBI is also investigating the discovery of the noose.
NASCAR reacted swiftly Sunday to condemn the incident as a “heinous act,” announcing an investigation and pledging to find the individual responsible and ban them from the sport.
The U.S. Department of Justice released the following statement Monday: “The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Alabama, FBI and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division are reviewing the situation surrounding the noose that was found in Bubba Wallace’s garage to determine whether there are violations of federal law. Regardless of whether federal charges can be brought, this type of action has no place in our society.”
Wallace called the act “despicable” and a “painful reminder” of the importance of fighting against racism and protesting social injustice. In his third full-time season at NASCAR’s top level, Wallace is the only Black driver in the Cup Series and has been integral in leading the sport’s recent commitment to fighting racism and injustice. His largest impact so far was calling for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag from all events, which the governing body did on June 10.
Disgruntled fans with Confederate flags drove past the main entrance to the Alabama race track prior to Sunday’s race, while a plane flew above the track pulling a banner of the flag that read “Defund NASCAR.”
Contributing: Michelle Martinelli, Associated Press