Latest On Bubba Wallace Investigation

There was a noose, but it had been there for about eight months.

Jim Rome
June 24, 2020 - 11:03 am
Bubba Wallace

USA Today


Yesterday, the United States Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Alabama released a Joint Statement from U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr. Regarding the Noose Found in NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace’s Garage at Talladega Superspeedway.

“On Monday, fifteen FBI special agents conducted numerous interviews regarding the situation at Talladega Superspeedway.  After a thorough review of the facts and evidence surrounding this event, we have concluded that no federal crime was committed.

The FBI learned that garage number 4, where the noose was found, was assigned to Bubba Wallace last week.  The investigation also revealed evidence, including authentic video confirmed by NASCAR, that the noose found in garage number 4 was in that garage as early as October 2019.  Although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week.

The decision not to pursue federal charges is proper after reviewing all available facts and all applicable federal laws. We offer our thanks to NASCAR, Mr. Wallace, and everyone who cooperated with this investigation.”

So that’s a somewhat surprising ending. There was a noose, but it had been there for about eight months.

So that kind of makes things confusing. It was a noose, but it wasn’t directed at Bubba Wallace. Huh

The ultimate message of this sequence is that the lone Black driver in Cup series took a stand against the Confederate flag, the flag was banned, some folks got upset, it looked like there had been a hate crime, his fellow drivers made a powerful statement in supporting him, there was a great race at Talladega, and then it turned out the thing that would’ve made it a hate crime wasn’t new and had been there for eight months.

That’s a bit confusing. Again, why was a noose there for eight months?

But just because it was there for eight months and wasn’t specifically directed at Wallace, it doesn’t cheapen the stand that Wallace has taken or the way the other drivers have supported him.

But some people are losing their minds over it. Some people are wanting to make this into a hoax and like it was something that Wallace or his team cooked up. Or like it was an overreaction to just a garage door pull, or like there wasn’t a noose there at all.

And they continued freaking out when Bubba Wallace told Don Lemon last night that whether it was tied in 2019 or 2020, “it’s a straight up noose.”

And he’s right. Listen to that statement from the US Attorney and the FBI Special Agent in Charge: they use the word “noose” four times. If it wasn’t a noose, they wouldn’t have used that word once, let alone four times.

The issue isn’t whether it was or wasn’t a noose, it’s when it was put there. And according to their investigation, it had been there for months. So it wasn’t there for Wallace. So who was it there for? Why was it there?  

And how is a noose in a garage for months and nobody notices? How is that not a thing you’d see and mention?

And no, it’s not a normal garage door pull. As Ryan McGee reported: “Rope pulldowns are installed on the roller doors in every bay of the Talladega Superspeedway garage. According to NASCAR, every one of those pulldowns was checked as part of the FBI investigation, and the only one of those fashioned into a noose was the rope in garage No. 4, which was assigned to the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Chevy this past weekend.”

So it’s not just a normal knot that someone tied in a garage door pull. It was a noose. And the only garage door a noose connected to it.

The authorities are clear that it was a coincidence that the 43 team was assigned to that garage and there would’ve been no way of tying the noose months ago in preparation for his team arriving there.

And this is not something that Wallace was in on.

He wasn’t the one who discovered it and according to McGee, he didn’t see it until NASCAR brought it to his attention. “One member of the No. 43 team found the noose, reported it to NASCAR security, and then took it to NASCAR president Steve Phelps and his executive team.”

McGee went on: “Wallace didn't even know about it until Phelps came to his motor home Sunday evening to tell him what was happening, a conversation during which Wallace says the NASCAR president was in tears.” 

So, for all you conspiracy theorists, that should address the notion that Wallace was in on it.

But even though the FBI is through with its investigation, NASCAR is continuing one of its own. Their goal is to find the person who tied the rope into a noose, back whenever they did it, and then find out why they did it.

As a NASCAR official told ESPN dot com: "There a lot of ways to tie a rope. This was unquestionably a noose. So, why?"

Great question. And why did nobody say anything about it until now?

Just don’t say it’s not a noose. And that Wallace somehow had something to do with it.  Because both those assertions are garbage. And so is anyone who’s saying it.