Bubba Wallace said on Wednesday that he was “relieved” that a rope tied into what resembled a noose found in his garage at Talladega Superspeedway wasn’t meant to be a message of hate directed at him, and his girlfriend is also “thankful” it was a misunderstanding.
“I am so proud of you for standing up for what is right and continuing to do so without fear of the outcome. For continuing to stand faced with uncertainty and fear all with a smile on your face,” Amanda Carter wrote in an Instagram post.
“I am so proud of you for using your platform. I wish the people saying hurtful comments knew you.
I wish everyone knew you.”
Wallace and Carter, who works as a financial analyst in Charlotte, N.C., have been dating for several years and she was often seen at races with him before restrictions were put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I hope people continue to stand with you because you’re standing for so many others… so many little boys and girls who dream of going fast but haven’t seen someone who looks like them, for all the new and old fans who felt uncomfortable coming to a race and for everyone who has experienced racism,” her post continued.
“I am so thankful that this was not a purposeful act, I am so thankful you are safe.”
The noose was tied at the end of a rope used as a garage door pull. Following the discovery on Sunday, an FBI investigation determined that it had been present in the garage as early as October of 2019, when no one could’ve known Wallace’s team would be assigned to it. NASCAR officials have not released an official photo but said it was unusual and that an internal probe aimed at finding out who and why it was tied that way in the first place continues.
In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Wallace said “I think we’ll gladly take a little embarrassment over what the alternatives could have been,” in reference to NASCAR’s initial reaction to the incident, which included a pre-race show of support for Wallace on Monday.