Here’s Who Liberals Blamed for ‘Hate Crime’ Against Bubba Wallace Before It Was Exposed as ‘Fake Noose’


NASCAR announced on Tuesday that a “noose” found in black driver Darren “Bubba” Wallace Jr.’s stall two days earlier was actually a garage door opener that had been there since at least last year. 

Based in part on video evidence, the FBI determined that no hate crime or any other federal crime had been committed against Wallace at the Talladega Motor Speedway in Alabama. 

Here’s a look back at how people reacted to the noose story in the day before it was debunked. 

NASCAR, fresh off banning Confederate flags from events at Wallace’s urging, went public with the discovery of the offending rope on Sunday night, using the term “noose” and condemning its hanging as a  “heinous act” of racism. 

“We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act,” the series said in a statement. “As we have stated unequivocally, there is no place for racism in NASCAR, and this act only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all.”

During the Geico 500 event in Talladega on Monday, “I stand with Bubba” was painted on the grass at the Talladega track.

  • Wallace’s fellow drivers pushed his car, featuring a Black Lives Matter paint job, to the front of the field ahead of the race. 

Retired NASCAR iconsDale Earnhardt Jr.and Jimmie Johnson, both of whom Wallace convinced to support BLM, joined current drivers in voicing their support for him. 

  • “I can’t begin to fathom the pain this action has caused. I stand with you @BubbaWallace,” Johnson tweeted

NBA star LeBron Jamescalled the news “Sickening!” in a tweet and praised Wallace for taking a stand “for change here in America and sports!”

Other liberal commentators explicitly blamed the supposed targeting on systemic racism and white supremacy perpetuated by President Donald Turmp and his supporters. 

Dean Obeidallah, a journalist and frequent CNN contributor, said, “The cancer of white supremacy has been with our nation since its origin due to slavery.”

  • “In the time of Trump, it’s simply that white supremacists are embolden. And we see it now with MAGA supremacists smearing Bubba Wallace as making this up. 2020 is about crushing this cancer.”

Lawrence Tribe, a Harvard law professor, echoed: “The vicious hangman’s noose that threatened NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace was a reflection of racism long since present. What’s new is one thing: Donald J. Trump and his disgusting invitation to act out racist fantasies.”The Southern Poverty Law Center issued a statement definitively labeling the rope a “heinous act of racism” and an “act of retaliation” for NASCAR’s Confederate-flag ban. 

  • “It is extremely troubling, yet sadly expected, that someone would hang a noose — the ultimate symbol of white supremacist violence used to murder Black people — in the stall of the only Black driver on the NASCAR circuit,” director Lecia Brooks said.
  • She admonished NASCAR to “hold responsible those who committed this heinous act of racism.”

Despite NASCAR’s rush to condemn American racism, many liberal opinionators were still not satisfied with its response. 

Jerry Brewer wrote in his Washington Post column that the series must take sweeping action to “move past this nightmare” of institutional racism.

  • “This is an important sports moment amid all the protests. Consider it evidence of how symbols and institutions are often used to keep black people down,” Brewer said. “Racists can’t stand a powerful black sports figure.”
  • He declared: “Every team and every person associated with NASCAR is going to need to speak up and speak well.”

Dave Zirin, The Nation’s sports editor, warned that NASCAR fans should be ready to “physically defend” Wallace from violence by Trump supporters and other racists, whom he said were angry about nationwide anti-racism activism and cultural upheaval.  

  • “This is not a prank and this is not a game. There are violent people currently experiencing spasms of realizing their own dead-end irrelevance, and losing NASCAR as a place where they can let their Confederate freak flag fly is salt in their wounds,” Zirin said.
  • “As statues of Confederate leaders fall, they are left with depressing Trump rallies and tiki torch burnings as their only safe spaces. Feeling cornered, they could turn to violence, and it is going to take more than tweets to keep Wallace safe.”

Going even further, Jemele Hill, an Atlantic contributor and former anchor of ESPN’s “Sportscenter, said on MSNBC that someone associated with NASCAR was likely responsible for the rope.

  • Hill called it a “digusting reminder” of who NASCAR is for,” suggesting the answer was white people only. 

Wallace himself, after thanking NASCAR for its support, vowed to continue his anti-racism activist despite what he suggested was an attempt to silence him.

  • “Today’s despicable act of racism and hatred 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,” he said in statement posted to Twitter.
  • “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.”

Later, on ABC’s “The View,” Wallace dismissed those who voiced doubts about the racism narrative as “simple-minded people” who “are afraid of change.” 

The aftermath: Amid backlash over the FBI findings, Wallace appeared on CNN on Tuesday evening to defend himself. 

  • Speaking with anchor Don Lemon, a supporter of apparent hate crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett, Wallace accepted that he was not a victim and said a NASCAR official, not him, had reported the rope. 
  • But, having seen photos of the rope, he insisted it was not a normal “garage pull” but rather “a straight up noose.”

Some conservatives generously defended Wallace on Twitter, saying he had been led astray by NASCAR and others. 

  • But many mocked the driver, with some deeming him, “Smollett 2.0.”
  • Others took aim at the “fake noose media” for its oft-demonstrated willingness to put progressive priorities above facts. 

On Fox News, host Tucker Carlson said: “Bubba Wallace, who never produced pictures of the noose, had a mefssage for anyone who questioned his story. They were stupid and they were racist.”

  • Carlson also slammed authorities for repeatedly overreacting to “fake” hate crimes and questioned why the FBI needed to send 15 agents to Talladega. 
  • The host also slammed Hill, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and others who he said “used the incident to tar millions of NASCAR fans as racist.”

Confronted with their folly, the formerly outraged liberals generally said nothing or rolled their eyes at the right’s criticism of their inaccurate denuciations of racism. 

Others, like blogger Charles Pierce, continued to suggest the rope was a racist noose.

CNN on Wednesday published an op-ed by a former NBA basketball player who outright claimed Wallace had been “the victim of a racist incident.”

  • Elliot Williams derided NASCAR’s show of support for Wallace at Talladega as “the kind of sappy White savior moment designed to make audiences feel virtuous about the state of race relations in America.”
  • He also took issue with the series celebrating a video of the moment under the tagline “We are one family” — objecting, “We are not.”
  • “One thing that the outcome of the FBI’s investigation doesn’t change is this: That anyone is even debating the presence of Confederate battle flags at major sporting events is indicative of how power and privilege have hijacked the most basic terms of the national debate on race,” Williams said. 
  • “I’ve brought my children to a NASCAR race, but probably won’t do it again.”
By We'll Do It Live