From the days of J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI was anti-Black and fast forward to 2020 and it seems like nothing has changed. After a noose was found in Bubba Wallace’s garage, an FBI investigation decided that it was not a noose but rather a garage pull rope.
Today NASCAR released a photo of what the FBI claimed was a garage pull rope and it is clearly a noose. Not only is it a noose, but out of 1,684 garage pull ropes at the facility, only one was tied into a noose and it just happened to be the one in the garage of the only Black driver in NASCAR.
The noose was found Sunday by a member of Wallace’s crew at Talladega. Wallace never saw the noose on Sunday or had access to the garage. NASCAR said it began an investigation and found that no other garage stall ropes were tied into nooses.
“As you can see from the photo, the noose was real, as was our concern for Bubba,” NASCAR president Steve Phelps said. “With similar emotion, others across our industry and our media stood up to defend the NASCAR family, our NASCAR family, because they are part of the NASCAR family too. We are proud to see so many stand up for what’s right.”
The FBI said Tuesday that no charges would be filed after 15 agents investigated the noose. It was found to be in the stall since October of 2019, when the Wood Brothers Racing team had the same garage stall. A WBR team member told the FBI that he remembered seeing the knot on the team’s garage rope nine months ago.
Per Phelps, security footage from the Talladega race weekend showed that the noose had been formed at some point while NASCAR was at the track. But since garage access was much more wide open and fans were able to roam the garage area, NASCAR has not been able to determine who tied the rope into a noose.
“We were unfortunately unable to determine with any certainty who tied this rope in this manner or why it was done,” Phelps said.
“And we know it brings up another question, ‘How could this have gone unnoticed by so many people in October of 2019 and on the morning of June 21, 2020?’ Our ultimate conclusion from this investigation is to ensure that this never happens again. That no one walks by a noose without recognizing the potential damage that it can do. Moving forward, we will be conducting thorough sweeps of the garage area to ensure nothing like this happens again and we are installing additional cameras in all of our garages.
Phelps also said that “all members of our industry” would go through unconscious bias and sensitivity training.