Bubba Wallace is, in his own words, “pissed off.”
And he should be. The 26-year-old NASCAR Cup Series driver admitted ina CNN interview he was spending too much time on social media, where strangers were blaming him for what was a misunderstanding on the part of his own Richard Petty Motorsports race team and NASCAR.
Wallace’s anger is not directed at those who reported and escalated the presence of a noose in his Talladega Superspeedway garage stall Sunday, an incident both the FBI and NASCAR investigated and determined that no hate crime was committed against the sport’s only Black driver. The noose, formed at the bottom of a pull rope attached to the garage door, had been in place since as early as last fall, the FBI said.
MORE: NASCAR releases a clear photo of the noose
Instead, Wallace’s anger is directed at those who are attacking his character.
“You get backlash every day,” Wallace said on CNN hours after the FBI and NASCAR announced the findings of their investigation. “I’m used to it. It stings a little bit worse when they’re trying to test your character … and try to take something away from me that’s false.
“But the backlash will always be there. It doesn’t matter if we provide 100 percent facts and evidence, photo evidence. People are going to Photoshop it to make me look like the bad person. At the end of the day, I will always have haters. I will always have the motivators to go out there and to try to dethrone me from the pedestal that I am on.”