LeBron James Supports Bubba Wallace After Noose Is Found in NASCAR Driver's Stall: 'You Don't Stand Alone'
"Know you don't stand alone! I'm right here with you as well as every other athlete," the NBA star wrote to Bubba Wallace on Twitter
On Monday, the racing organization confirmed in a statement that a noose — a racially charged symbol of lynchings — was discovered in team 43's garage stall at the Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama, on Sunday. Wallace, 26, is the only full-time Black athlete at NASCAR.
"We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act," said NASCAR. "We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport."
Reacting to the news, James, 35, called the situation "sickening."
"Sickening! @BubbaWallace my brother! Know you don’t stand alone! I’m right here with you as well as every other athlete," tweeted the NBA star. "I just want to continue to say how proud I am of you for continuing to take a stand for change here in America and sports! @NASCAR I salute you as well! 🙏🏾✊🏾👑."
Other athletes also issued their support, including racer Jimmie Johnson, who tweeted, "I can’t begin to fathom the pain this action has caused. I stand with you @BubbaWallace."
Wallace issued a statement about the "despicable act of racism and hatred," writing that the incident "leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism."
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"Over the last several weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the support from people across the NASCAR industry including other drivers and team members in the garage," Wallace wrote in his statement on Sunday.
"Together, our sport has made a commitment to driving real change and championing a community that is accepting and welcoming of everyone," he continued. "Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate."
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Wallace concluded his message by sharing what his mom told him about the situation, reaffirming that he will continue to push back against racism.
"As my mother told me today, 'They are just trying to scare you.' This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in," he wrote.
NASCAR added in its statement on the investigation that the organization believes "unequivocally" that there is "no place for racism in NASCAR, and this act only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all."
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.