Guess what? There really was an actual noose in Bubba Wallace’s garage

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I never would have predicted that I would spend this much time writing about NASCAR, but again, here we are. NASCAR, as an organization, has actually impressed me a lot in the past month. They listened to Black Lives Matter activists and correctly judged the national mood. They banned Confederate flags outright at all of their races. They happily gave a platform to the one Black driver in the NASCAR organization, Bubba Wallace, and allowed him speak about BLM completely under the NASCAR banner. They stood by Wallace when salty rednecks protested, even when those salty rednecks were part of NASCAR.

Then, last weekend, Wallace’s team found a noose in their Talladega garade. The team informed NASCAR, and NASCAR called in the FBI to investigate it as a possible hate crime. The FBI investigated for a few days and came to the conclusion that while it was a noose, it was not targeting Bubba Wallace, and the noose had been there since last year, so it wasn’t really a hate crime. The racists – yeah, I said it – screamed for several days about how Bubba Wallace should apologize to all white people for “crying racism” or something. I honestly didn’t follow the racists’ train of thought, nevermind the fact that it wasn’t Bubba Wallace who even got any of this started – it was his crew, and it was NASCAR trying to genuinely protect Wallace. Anyway, after all the salty rednecks screamed at Bubba Wallace because “the FBI said he lied” (the FBI did not say that), ESPN published a photo of the noose in question. Guess what? It was a f–king noose.

Now those same racists are arguing that yes, it’s a noose, but hey, that’s just how *some of us* tie a garage door pull. The FBI and NASCAR actually examined many of the other garages and door pulls and it’s super-weird that this was the ONLY garage which had a noose in it. And it’s super-weird that it was assigned to Bubba Wallace, huh?

NASCAR on Thursday completed its investigation into the garage pull rope formed as a noose that was found in Bubba Wallace’s garage at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, with president Steve Phelps saying “the noose was real” and “our initial reaction was to protect our driver.”

“Given the facts presented to us, we would have pursued this with the same sense of urgency and purpose,” Phelps said Thursday. “Upon learning of seeing the noose, our initial reaction was to protect our driver. We’re living in a highly charged and emotional time. What we saw was a symbol of hate, and was only present in one area of the garage — that of the 43 car of Bubba Wallace.

“In hindsight, we should have — I should have — used the word ‘alleged’ in our statement. … As you can see from the photo, the noose was real, as was our concern for Bubba. 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 were proud to see so many stand up for what’s right.”

Wallace, NASCAR’s only Black full-time driver, on Wednesday told ESPN’s First Take that he was thankful that the noose wasn’t intended for him, but he doesn’t think the ensuing investigation was an overreaction. Phelps said NASCAR conducted a thorough sweep of every garage area in all 29 tracks at which it races, a total of 1,684 garage stalls.

“We found only 11 total that had a pull-down rope tied in a knot, and only one noose — the one discovered on Sunday in Bubba Wallace’s garage,” Phelps said.

Phelps said NASCAR determined that the noose wasn’t in the garage prior to the October 2019 race weekend, but it was unable to determine “with any certainty who tied this rope in this manner, or why it was done. “… Our ultimate conclusion for this investigation is to ensure that this never happens again — that no one walks by a noose without recognizing the potential damage it can do,” Phelps said.

[From ESPN]

Again, I actually and truly believe that NASCAR, as an organization, is trying to do the right thing and they have been trying all month. While I find it extremely odd that Wallace was assigned this garage, I also feel like there’s reason to doubt the FBI’s findings too. And you know what? Good for NASCAR for releasing the photo of the noose. It IS a f–king noose.

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Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of Getty, Instagram.

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39 Responses to “Guess what? There really was an actual noose in Bubba Wallace’s garage”

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  1. Daisyfly says:

    My husband is a former boy scout. The man can tie a billion different knots. He said, after seeing this, “there’s only one reason you tie a noose, baby.”

    • Juls says:

      I agree with your husband. The function of that type of knot is not used for any other purpose. It certainly makes zero sense to use it as a door-pull. I think the FBI is lying. I think it was hate crime and they just couldn’t figure out who did it. Or the person responsible is too powerful. I don’t believe in coincidences, especially not one this elaborate.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        yeah, it’s super weird that out of over 1600 garage stalls only ONE had a rope pull tied in a noose. and this stall was assigned to the ONLY black driver just after the racist traitorous losers’ flag was banned.

        too much of a coincidence for me, and I am NOT one for conspiracy theories or one to jump to conclusions. the whole thing is beyond troubling.

    • Lizzieb says:

      @daisyfly. Thanks for saying this. I thought I was just overly suspicious in thinking the offenders knot training came from the KKK instead of the scouts

    • kimberlu says:

      there was a caller the johnjayandrich show that said it wasn’t a noose knot and he was an expert…i was shocked that the show host agreed with him quickly and they moved on with the show…smh

  2. JJ McClay says:

    That 👏 is 👏 a 👏 noose 👏.

    F*ck anyone who suggests otherwise, or who says its “too small to function properly”. My god.

  3. Levans says:

    It is a noose! Bubba’s crew was trying to protect him and were genuinely upset at seeing it. I’d be interested to know who had the garage before/made the noose!

  4. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Oh good. It’s not a functioning noose.

  5. Lightpurple says:

    NASCAR actually has a legal obligation to Wallace and everyone else within its organization. It could be held liable if anyone brought a hostile work environment discrimination claim. NASCAR has done the right thing here. But it needs to follow through with more trainings for staff on diversity and hostile work atmosphere and it needs to investigate. Someone put that there. It doesn’t matter that they didn’t know a year in advance that Bubba would get that garage. A noose is a noose and somebody thought it was a great idea to leave that in a workplace – not good.

    The racist right-wingers aren’t giving up on their lies and attacks on Bubba Wallace. I saw countless diagrams about knots on Twitter yesterday, except none of them actually looked like that.

    • Erinn says:

      And that’s just it – it’s still a noose. Let’s pretend it wasn’t racially motivated for a minute. What’s the alternative, making light of suicides? No matter WHY the noose was there it was a noose, and it’s pretty f-cked that this was able to go unreported for so long.

      And I’m sorry. The security on these garages is INSANE. They’re not putting these incredibly expensive cars somewhere that they can be tampered with. They should have video footage of it being added to the door.

      • Lightpurple says:

        Well, there might have been video footage but those most security cameras tend to record over themselves over a period of time if they aren’t pulled for review. They tend to be activated by motion sensors so they turn on and record whenever the motion sensor detects movement. The more traffic in the area, the more it records, the sooner it records over itself. Some areas with no traffic through them, you can pull something from weeks or months ago. An area with a lot of people passing through, it might go a week, two weeks at most, before it starts recording over itself. But I also suspect that there are log books showing who accessed which area on which dates and at which times.

    • Mac says:

      NASCAR was officially flying the confederate flag until a few weeks ago. Racism is baked into the system. Sensitivity training won’t fix what is rotten at the core. NASCAR is shamelessly using the moment to target a demographic they have long sought to attract: Black men.

  6. MellyMel says:

    The only garage that had a “door pull” that was a NOOSE was Bubba’s…got it. The mental gymnastics ppl go through to deny something that is clearly racist as not racist is exhausting to watch.

    • Haarper says:

      Yes. Partisans and their willful ignorance is exhausting to listen to. When your knee-jerk response is to label inconvenient facts opposition smears you’re TFG.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      It really is.

      Some racist is butthurt s/he cannot fly their freak (confederate) flag at races anymore.


    • megs283 says:

      Right, so it’s been there for a year. Who knew this and “cleverly” assigned the driver to that garage? Because this is NO coincidence.

      • Anon says:

        It wasn’t there before Oct 2019, they say now. Was that the last time NASCAR had a racing event?

  7. Trillian says:

    There is only one reason to tie a noose and that is not to pull a f***ing garage door. That’s like saying I carry a gun to open beer bottles with.

    And who cares if it “works”, it’s clearly meant to intimidate. FFS. Who investigated here???

  8. Betsy says:

    I read on twitter yesterday that the garages are assigned by standings in the previous race, so the noose may have been there prior to his having the garage.

    Which begs the question: who had the garage and why did they think a noose would be a good idea? Did they know Bubba was going to get the garage next and it was done to intimidate him? Was the it someone from management, and not a mechanic? If it had been there a long time, how did the workplace not notice/tolerate it for so long?

    (Also am i the only one confused as to why they need a garage pull? Why isnt it a door operated by a button like every garage since about 1972?)

    • lucy2 says:

      This – even if it was total coincidence that he was assigned that garage, someone there previously thought that was appropriate to have. Someone in that community knew how to, or looked up how to, tie a noose, and hung it up.

      I’m glad NASCAR is at least trying to do the right thing, and that so many of them have been supportive. And whoever runs their twitter scorched that one dude who quit over the confederate flag.

    • Christine says:

      I’ve seen pictures of that stall in the race last year and the noose was also there for another driver when they had that stall. It’s sadly a huge coincidence that Bubba happened to get that position and subsequently was given that spot. It doesn’t excuse that many people walked by this/saw this for as long as last year and the inappropriateness of this image didn’t click with them.

      Also, the people screaming that this was a hoax and that Bubba is race baiting, etc. is exactly why people think NASCAR fans are racist!! You can’t claim that there isn’t racism in the sport and then your next sentence is literally something racist.

    • Lightpurple says:

      You know, the issue isn’t just Bubba Wallace. He may be the only black NASCAR driver, but I doubt he is the only black person working in NASCAR. This is a very large organization, primarily located in the South. It employs lawyers, accountants, auditors, administrative assistants, PR people, cleaning people, mechanics, electricians, IT people. It’s very likely quite a few of them were people of color as well. This could have been targeted at any one of them or all of them, to make them feel uncomfortable in their workplace.

  9. Darla says:

    It’s totally a noose, and I don’t trust the FBI at all.

  10. Lucy says:

    It’s a noose. There’s also photos of it hanging in that same spot in November 2019.
    I’m glad NASCAR took it so seriously and immediately protected Bubba.
    Other than that, a flying eff you to the people doubting this is a thing, and to the FBI for being unable to figure anything out.

  11. LunaSF says:

    This story is so crazy! What are the chances that the only garage with an actual fing noose is assigned to him?! I guess it could happen and they claim there is no way anyone knew he would get that garage but still seems very odd.

  12. Mom2mom says:

    So if someone draws a swastika, but they draw it backwards, that means it’s not a swastika and it’s not significant. Sure, Jan.

  13. Rapunzel says:

    There are pics of the pull in garage in 2019, right? Who had the garage then? Why don’t they have that info?

    And I thought there were pics of the same pull in other garages too? Someone correct me if I’m wrong. What’s up with that, if it really was only in Bubba’s garage? Did someone intentionally put out misleading photos?

    And even Bubba was eventually accepting the FBI’s findings due to the photos, wasn’t he? Again, correct me if I’m wrong. Does anyone know what he’s saying now that NASCAR published this statement?

    It sounds to me like was someone is trying pull a snow job to make Bubba look bad, and NASCAR is like “yeah…nope.” Good for them standing by Bubba because that is absolutely a noose.

    • Christine says:

      He stated that he is relieved that it wasn’t a direct target against him but doubled down that it is a noose. Which it is.

      What’s sad is that the responses on his twitter are full of hateful messages. He’s struggled with mental health in the past so I really hope he’s not taking this to heart. And people are attacking his girlfriend on instagram for daring to stick up for him. It’s really disgusting and heartbreaking.

  14. Rae says:

    If it looks like a noose, acts like a noose, barks like a noose, quacks like a noose, it’s a f*cking noose. Those still trying to argue it isn’t are showing their arses.

  15. RoSco says:

    Wait did the FBI say it wasn’t a noose or that it wasn’t a hate crime? I mean, we’re all seeing the same thing but sometimes the FBI looks at things through the lens of whether there is sufficient evidence to meet a legal standard in court, especially where you gave to prove intent (and even more especially if it’s the intent of an unknown person). I think they just can’t prove it … but also don’t want to say they can’t prove it.

  16. Veronica S. says:

    I’m willing to believe that somebody tied it that way thinking they were real funny, not as a direct strike to Bubba Wallace. Fine. What is problematic is that nobody said, “uh, hey, this isn’t funny” up until a literal black man would’ve been in its close vicinity, not considering how inappropriate it was to start with. Just an insane story all around.

  17. Vega says:

    One area where I think NASCAR fell short, is that as soon as the FBI determined it was not a direct racist attack, they were awful silent while Wallace was being attacked.

  18. CJ says:

    “Our ultimate conclusion for this investigation is to ensure that this never happens again — that no one walks by a noose without recognizing the potential damage it can do”

    That’s the key bit of this all for me. A noose was there and as a symbol it holds so many painful connotations. No-one should be walking by and thinking it’s ok.
    Like @Daisyfly’s husband said, there are other knots and there’s only one reason you tie a noose.

  19. Leigh_S says:

    Other than scouts/guides, people only really learn knots that are purposeful to them or related to their interests. Example: I’ve had horses for years. I automatically use a quick release knot unless I have a good reason to do otherwise.

    People with boats tie boat related knots, people with livestock tie livestock related knots and people who tie nooses? Well, they have an interest in hanging, regardless of whatever joke they want to cover it with.

    • MerryGirl says:

      Exactly. Regardless of how small it is, one only ties a knot like that for hanging, no other purpose. Period!

  20. sassafras says:

    The fact that I’ve applauded anyone in NASCAR for taking the side of a man named Bubba on a race related issue is…. mindblowing. But good job everyone.

  21. Ashley says:

    I want to give all seriousness to this situation but good lord this man is beautiful. Can we keep writing about him for fun?