Despite the shock of a noose being found in NASCAR racer Bubba Wallace’s garage stall on Monday (June 22), his mother is saying this is not the first time he has experienced racism in his career, his mother said.
Desiree Wallace, during an appearance on SiriusXM’s “The Joe Madison Show,” on Monday (June 22), said that her son has been called the n-word, and told he doesn’t “belong.”
“This is not his first incident,” Wallace said. “If he gets into an incident with another driver, they’re quick to throw out the n-word. He’s been told he doesn’t belong. We’ve been through all of that.”
She said that her son has been dealing with racism since age 9, but this is the first time something “of this magnitude” has happened.
“I teach my son, ‘You don’t throw back at them,” she said. “You just get in that race car and win. ... That’s the way you fight back.‘ ”
It wasn’t clear if these experiences were during his time with NASCAR or earlier in his career.
The noose was found in the stall by another member of Wallace’s team and he never saw it. The team member told NASCAR about it and the organization launched an investigation, according to ESPN. We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act," NASCAR said in a statement.
In a response on Twitter posted Monday (June 22), Wallace responded to the racist incident by sharing advice from his mother.
"Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate. 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."
NASCAR drivers, pit crew members and others showed their support for Bubba Wallace on Monday (June 22). The group walked alongside Wallace and his Number 43 car at the Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama, as a show of solidarity.
Desiree Wallace told Madison there were cameras in the garage area and that her son told her whoever placed the noose was “someone inside the walls of NASCAR” because only select people had access to the stalls.
“There were video cameras but there were not cameras where the noose was hung,” she said. “See, everybody thinks there are cameras around there, they know who’s done it. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
“I’m just praying that it’s not one of his team members,” she said.
Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images for NASCAR