Politics

Lindsey Graham Defends NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace After Trump’s Criticism

Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham defended NASCAR and driver Bubba Wallace Monday after President Donald Trump criticized them.

In an interview with Fox News Radio, Graham was asked about Trump’s tweet where he went after Wallace, calling the noose controversy a “HOAX” and asked if Wallace had apologized. Trump also said that both the way NASCAR handled Wallace’s situation and their decision to ban the confederate flag, are the reasons for low television ratings.

Graham responded to the questions by saying, “What I would tell people from outside of South Carolina is that NASCAR is trying to grow the sport and one way you grow the sport is you take images that divide us and ask that they not be brought into the venue.” Graham also said “Even though it was a noose created to hold the door open, in the times in which we live there’s a lot of anxiety. So what did you see? You saw the best in NASCAR. When there was a chance that it was a threat against Bubba Wallace they all rallied to Bubba’s side. So I would be looking to celebrate that kind of attitude more than being worried about it being a hoax,” Graham added.

Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 McDonald's Chevrolet, wears a "I Can't Breathe - Black Lives Matter" T-shirt under his fire suit in solidarity with protesters around the world taking to the streets after the death of George Floyd on May 25 while in the custody of Minneapolis, Minnesota police, stands during the national anthem prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on June 07, 2020 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 McDonald’s Chevrolet, wears a “I Can’t Breathe – Black Lives Matter” T-shirt under his fire suit in solidarity with protesters around the world taking to the streets after the death of George Floyd. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

“Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!” Trump tweeted earlier Monday. (RELATED: Trump Calls Bubba Wallace Noose Controversy A ‘HOAX,’ Blasts NASCAR For Banning Confederate Flags)

Wallace called for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag from events in early June, saying that “there should be no individual that is uncomfortable showing up to our events to have a good time with their family that feels some type of way about something they have seen, an object they have seen flying.”