An activist NASCAR driver who fooled the world into believing he was a target of execution without a proper trial should beg for pardon, the president said.
President Donald Trump has urged Richard Petty Motorsports competitor Darrell (Bubba) Wallace Jr. to apologize for falsely claiming he was at risk of lynching.
Wallace incited international outrage after falsely claiming a rope, which was tied in a noose, appeared overnight at the team’s Talladega Superspeedway garage, on June 21.
After the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) examined the scene, officials discovered the noose was tied about eight months before Wallace was even assigned the garage back in October 2019.
“Has Bubba Wallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers and officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, and were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another hoax?” the president said on Twitter.
The Oval Office revealed fans appear to have shown their disappointment in the motorsport’s extreme measures like removing all Confederate flags due to “anarchist” protests, which spread across the nation after the death-in-custody of Minnesotan George Floyd on May 25.
“That and flag decision has caused [NASCAR the] lowest ratings ever,” the president said.
Sports Media Watch backed this view, reporting the first race of the NASCAR Cup Series attracted 2.57 million viewers on FOX Saturday. This was 4 percent less than the 2018 viewership of 2.67 million.
Wallace admitted he felt a little red-faced and was prepared to accept responsibility for his noose fiasco.
“It has been an emotional few days,” he said on Twitter. “I think we will gladly take a little embarrassment over what the alternatives could have been.”
He thanked the FBI and NASCAR representatives for taking his concerns seriously.
“I want to say how relieved I am that the investigation revealed that this was not what we feared it was,” he said. “I [also] want to thank my team, NASCAR and the FBI for acting swiftly and treating this as a real threat.”
He also suggested he has received strong criticism for jumping to conclusions about what the noose was meant to communicate.
“You will always have people testing you, seeing if they can knock you off your pedestal,” he said on Twitter. “Your words and actions will always be held to a higher standard than others, you have to be prepared for that … you learn them from trials and tribulations, the ups and downs this crazy world provides.”