NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace details his new activist role, the hate that followed; Comments on the recent shooting of Jacob Blake
Bubba Wallace has been making waves, on and off the race track in 2020.
Earlier this season, Bubba Wallace spoke up against the Confederate Flag. He was asked by CNN what the next steps were for NASCAR to bridge the social gaps.
Wallace responded by suggesting the sport ban Confederate flags, a former foundation for RV parks at every race track. NASCAR heard the call and responded, banning Confederate flags from all events and properties.
Since, Wallace has been very outspoken on social issues as well as issues regarding the sport itself.
NASCAR Driver / Activist
“I don’t look at is as an activist or politics, as some would say. I look at it as simply as, ‘You know what? That’s not right and I’m going to say something about it.’ Hopefully, it impacts others,” Bubba Wallace stated on the Rich Eisen Show.
“For me, I hate when I have to do interviews and I get talking points before it. They’re like, ‘Say this. Say that.’ I’m like, ‘Hey, let me do what I can do and be myself.’ As soon as it becomes scripted, then I’m like everybody else. I hate things that are scripted.”
Bubba Wallace is now a standout figure in the sports world and beyond. There’s positives and negatives to everything.
“I’m definitely not a fan favorite anymore. The All-Star race, they loved when I was crashed out there on lap 15. At Daytona, lots of Boo’s. So, it’s all good.”
“My name sparks some sort of reaction inside them. Whether it’s good or bad, they’re saying something. So, I’m good with it.”
The noose incident changed the fan perception of Bubba Wallace
“It’s for sure the noose incident. Everybody wants to hang onto the narrative that I hung the noose myself. Then, reported it myself just to get the fame and fortune out of it. That’s the narrative that people are hanging onto. While, the facts have been out there.”
Months ago, a noose was found in the garage stall of the No. 43 car at Talladega.
This came just a week after NASCAR’s ban of the Confederate flag, which was encouraged by Wallace. The noose was also discovered at the Alabama track, just one day after a noose was discovered handing from a tree at Sonoma Raceway in California.
Related: Noose hung at Sonoma Raceway
Fans call hoax on noose; Wallace responds
David Cropps, a team member for Richard Petty Motorsports is the one who discovered the noose. He then informed NASCAR. NASCAR reacted by calling the FBI who then opened the investigation.
In their investigation, it was determined the noose was installed on the garage pull in the that stall, as far back as October 2019. Thus, it was not a hate crime targeted at Wallace.
However, some have stuck with calling it a hoax and drawing comparisons to Jussie Smollett. The Hollywood actor was caught staging a hate crime against himself.
Wallace added, “There’s articles going around that I called every NASCAR fans racist. That’s not the truth.”
“I was asked what I had to say to those NASCAR fans that think this is all a hoax and a joke. To those NASCAR fans that think it was a joke. Yes, it’s their job to deliver hate. They’re not going to see my side of it. They don’t want to see my side of it.”
“Somehow, that got turned into, ‘Every NASCAR fan is a racist.’ I could sit here all day to try and defend myself and it just wouldn’t go anywhere.”
Bubba Wallace comments the Jacob Blake shooting
Recently, there was a police shooting in the state of Wisconsin. It shows the victim walking away from police officers as they pointed guns at him.
While families and young children surrounded the scene, 29-year-old Jacob Blake was seen opening the door to a car while his three children sat inside. As he reached for the door, officers shot him in the back.
It’s a scene that’s sparked more riots across the country. The Justice Deportment has since opened an investigation.
“I believe he’s in stable condition, thank god. I hope that he pulls through,” Bubba Wallace stated.
“To be able to watch that, see all that and be exposed to it is unfortunate.”
“The thing that really makes me mad and gets under my skin is the people that try to justify what went down. Being shot in the back is just like sucker punching somebody.”
“There’s two sides to it. Yeah, they were telling him to stop and he wasn’t complying. I understand that.”
“But, to shoot somebody seven times in the back. ‘Oh he opened the car door, he was reaching for a gun.’ Ok. There’s still two police officers. Tackle him. Or shoot him in the leg. I don’t know.”
“But to shoot him 10 times in the back, that’s just inhumane. It’s just something that’s an unfortunate part of our nation.”
Bubba Wallace is in a contract year with his No. 43 team of Richard Petty Motorsports. In 2020, the team has brought in CashApp and Door Dash as new primary sponsors.
Wallace has yet to sign a new deal for 2021. However, the team has offered him a part-ownership role with the team.