President Donald Trump attacked NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace Monday on Twitter, by alleging the noose found in Wallace’s garage at the Talladega Superspeedway last month was a “hoax.”
Trump also falsely claimed NASCAR’s TV ratings are down since it banned the Confederate flag at racing events.
“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?” Trump tweeted. “That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!”
Despite Trump’s tweet, NASCAR ratings on Fox have actually increased in recent weeks, according to Fox Sports EVP Michael Mulvihill.
“NASCAR viewership on Fox networks is up +8% since returning from its pandemic hiatus on May 17,” Mulvihill tweeted Monday.
NASCAR viewership on Fox networks is up +8% since returning from its pandemic hiatus on May 17.
— Michael Mulvihill (@mulvihill79) July 6, 2020
Bubba Wallace, who is NASCAR’s only Black driver, also responded to Trump’s tweet.
In a statement addressed to “the next generation and little ones following my foot steps,” Wallace urged young people to “keep your head held high and walk proudly on the path you have chosen.”
He ended his statement by saying, “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.”
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) July 6, 2020
The FBI concluded last month that no hate crime was committed at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. But NASCAR shared an image of the rope on June 25, and confirmed that it was tied into a noose.
“As you can see from the photo,” said Steve Phelps, president of NASCAR, “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 … We are proud to see so many stand up for what’s right.”