The FBI determined that no hate crime was committed after what appeared to be a noose was discovered in Mr Wallace’s garage stall in Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway.
The agency concluded that a pull-rope handle in the shape of a hangman’s noose shape – which has long evoked a bloody history of lynchings and racist violence in the US – had been there since at least October 2019. It was not a hoax.
Nascar driver Bubba Wallace says he will respond with “love over hate” after Donald Trump lashed out at the black driver and demanded he apologise after authorities determined a noose hanging in his garage was a door pull. The president called the incident – which has rallied Mr Wallace’s fans and Nascar drivers against racism – a “hoax”.
In a statement posted to social media addressed to “the next generation and little ones following my footsteps” with the hashtag #LoveWins, Mr Wallace told his followers that “your words and actions will always be held to a higher standard than others” and will often be met by others who “see if they can knock you off your pedestal.”
“I encourage you to keep tour head held high and walk proudly on the path you have chosen,” he said. “Always deal with the hate being thrown at you with LOVE! Love over hate every day. Love should come naturally as people are TAUGHT to hate. Even when it’s HATE from the POTUS.”
But on Monday, the president said on Twitter: “Has Bubba Wallace apologised to all of those great Nascar drivers and officials who came to his aid, stood by his side and were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another hoax?”
He also blamed the organisation’s recent decision to ban the Confederate battle flag from its events for a decline in television ratings, on which the president has often relied to legitimise his term in office.
Nascar’s ratings on Fox Sports have increased by 8 per cent, the organisation said.
In a statement showing an image of the pull-rope handle last month, Nascar president Steve Phelps said: “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,” he said. “We were proud to see so many stand up for what’s right.”
Pressed repeatedly on Monday why the president wanted Mr Wallace to apologise, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany refused to answer.
She also said the president “wants no part of cancel culture” and “stands against the demonisation of Americans” in defence of the president’s attacks on Nascar for banning the Confederate battle flag.
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The president also raged against revived efforts to rename Washington’s National Football League team and Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team from their current Native American slurs.
“They name teams out of STRENGTH, not weakness,” he said on Twitter. “Two fabled sports franchises … look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct.”
In 2013, then-citizen Trump said: “President should not be telling the Washington Redskins to change their name-our country has far bigger problems! FOCUS on them, not nonsense.”