NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace and former ESPN anchor Jemele Hill doubled down on the noose incident Tuesday evening after the FBI said it was a pull rope fashioned like a noose that had been in the garage since 2019.
FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice investigated after an alleged noose was found inside Wallace’s garage Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. The FBI said Tuesday that no federal crime was committed and that “this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba.”
The bureau added that it was a “garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose” that had been there prior to Wallace’s arrival at the specific garage.
Wallace and Hill, who has been vocal about the incident, doubled down regarding the alleged noose.
“I’ve been racing all of my life. We’ve raced out of hundreds of garages that never had garage pulls like that … It’s a straight up noose,” Wallace told CNN’s Don Lemon on Monday evening.
Bubba Wallace to Don Lemon:
“I’ve been racing all of my life. We’ve raced out of hundreds of garages that never had garage pulls like that… It’s a straight up noose.” pic.twitter.com/uYrp9QYFWI
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 24, 2020
“The FBI has stated it was a noose over and over again, NASCAR leadership has stated that it was a noose. I can confirm that I actually got evidence of what was hanging in my garage over my car … to confirm that it was a noose,” Wallace added.
Lemon read NASCAR’s statement to Wallace following the FBI’s finding and asked if he is worried about backlash. Wallace said that he “gets backlash everyday” and that “it stings a little bit worse when they’re trying to test you character … and take something away from me that’s false.”
Hill spoke out against the alleged intentional act during a segment Monday on MSNBC’s “Andrew Mitchell Reports.” She called it a “stunning, shocking, appalling, disgusting reminder of who, again, this sport is for.”
Hill doubled down on this Tuesday evening, tweeting that despite the FBI believing it was not directed at Wallace, it was still a noose.
“It. Was. A. Noose,” Hill wrote. “They just don’t believe it was directed at Bubba Wallace.”
It. Was. A. Noose.
They just don’t believe it was directed at Bubba Wallace.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) June 24, 2020
Hill also hit back at journalist Megyn Kelly, who wondered Monday on Twitter whether Hill would “apologize to the NASCAR fans she unfairly besmirched.” Hill made comments Monday about the environment within NASCAR, saying that “it’s hard for people of color to feel comfortable in these environments when you see the Confederate flag everywhere, when you just get this sense that you’re at something that you’re not welcome at.”
“I’m old enough to remember NASCAR banning the Confederate flag from races a couple weeks ago,” Hill tweeted in response. (RELATED: ‘Defund NASCAR’ Confederate Flag Flies Over Talladega, Noose Reportedly Found In Bubba Wallace’s Stall)
“Let me go pray to white Jesus for Megyn Kelly,” she added.
Prior to the FBI’s findings, Wallace told “The View” on Tuesday that he had spoken with the bureau and was offended by critics who had deemed the incident to be a hoax.
NASCAR releases a statement on the situation: pic.twitter.com/RC6asyMxMn
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 23, 2020
“It offends me that people would go to those measures but again, I’m not shocked,” Wallace said. “People are entitled to their own opinions to make them feel good and help them sleep at night.”