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Bubba Wallace addresses FBI investigation findings: 'We'll gladly take a little embarrassment over what the alternatives could have been'

That was quick

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace is accepting investigators' findings regarding the noose found in his race car garage on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.

In response to the initial discovery of the noose, Wallace took to Twitter, telling fans and followers that such a clear "act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened," and promised that the incident would not break him.

FBI investigators quickly concluded that the noose discovered in Wallace's garage was not a racial threat meant for him.

What's a brief history on this?

Wallace spoke with CNN's Don Lemon on Tuesday night, where he railed against the noose as well as people who he said were trying to "test" his character with assertions of a hoax.

During the exchange, Wallace said he was extremely unhappy that people were questioning his integrity following the investigators' findings.

"I'm mad because people are trying to test my character and the person that I am and my integrity," he told Lemon.

On Tuesday, the FBI said that the noose — which was reportedly a "garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose" — had been in the garage since October 2019 — months and months before Wallace took over the stall.

"It was a noose," Wallace snapped at Lemon on Tuesday. "Whether tied in 2019 or whatever, it was a noose. So, it wasn't directed at me but somebody tied a noose. That's what I'm saying."

Later that evening, Wallace insisted, "This will not break me, none of the allegations of being a hoax will break me or tear me down."

What are the details?

On Twitter Wednesday afternoon, Wallace wrote, "It's been an emotional few days. First off, I want to say how relieved I am that the investigation revealed that this wasn't what we feared it was. I want to thank my team, NASCAR, and the FBI for acting swiftly and treating this as a real threat."

"I think we'll gladly take a little embarrassment over what the alternatives could have been," he continued. "Make no mistake, though some will try, this should not detract from the show of unity we had on Monday, and the progress we've made as a sport to be a more welcoming environment for all."

Hours before his tweet, Wallace wrote, "Integrity..something nobody will ever be able to take away from me. God will always test us to show how strong we truly are. Still standing proud and still smiling."

A statement from NASCAR on the FBI's investigation read:

The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall. This was obviously well before the 43 team's arrival and garage assignment.

We appreciate the FBI's quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing.

In a statement, the FBI said, "The FBI learned that garage number 4, where the noose was found, was assigned to Bubba Wallace last week. The investigation also revealed evidence, including authentic video confirmed by NASCAR, that the noose found in garage number 4 was in that garage as early as October 2019.

"Although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week," the FBI's investigation concluded.

One last thing…
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