President Donald Trump suggested that the noose that NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace found was a ‘hoax’ on Monday.
Wallace, the only Black driver for NASCAR, found what appeared to be a noose in the Talladega Superspeedway garage in Lincoln, Alabama. It came less than two weeks after the league issued a ban on Confederate flags and as the Black Lives Matter protests exploded across America.
“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.
The capitalized ‘Flag’ Trump refers to in his tweet is the Confederate flag.
Trump is among many in the far-right to undermine Wallace. Trolls compared Wallace to actor Jussie Smollett, who set up a hate crime against himself in 2019.
The FBI also sided against Wallace and determined the incident was not a hate crime. NASCAR shared the findings on its Twitter page.
“The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall,” NASCAR tweeted.
Wallace maintains that the rope was a noose.
“Whether someone tied it in 2019 … It wasn’t directed at me,” Wallace told CNN in an interview, “but it was a noose.”
Wallace responded to Trump on Twitter, saying “To the next generations and the little ones following my foot steps.. #Lovewins.”
This story has been updated to include Wallace’s statement.