Noose or Not: NASCAR Shows Solidarity

Noose or Not: NASCAR Shows Solidarity

By James Jackson

Sunday morning at Talladega Superspeedway, a crew member on the No. 43 team driven by African-American driver Darrell "Bubba" Wallace found what appeared to be a noose hanging in the garage of the Richard Petty Motorsports machine. After an FBI investigation, it was determined on Tuesday that the "noose" was actually a pull rope to the garage door in the shape of a noose that had been there since last year.

If you're focused only on the outcome of the investigation, then you're looking at the wrong thing. Since wearing a "I can't breathe" shirt, used his voice to help ban the Confederate Flag from the sport and running a "Black Lives Matter" car at Martinsville Speedway, Bubba Wallace has still received a lot of hate for trying to make NASCAR and it's culture a better place. 

The fact that NASCAR didn't take this incident lightly shows that the organization is serious about the direction they want to head in. While yes, it wasn't a noose, the way the people in the sport handled it was something special. The drivers organized an event before the start of the race that would be seen all over social media or news outlets. Drivers and crew members pushed the iconic 43 car to the front of pit road and they all surrounded Wallace's car in a show of solidarity for the emotional Wallace before the start of the race.

In a sport where most drivers have historically been predominately white, Monday's show of solidarity was something unprecedented in the sport. Black, white, red or yellow, it didn't matter. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said "I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character" and Monday's event was just that. Fellow competitors, some of which Wallace has had run-ins with in the past (both virtually and on-track) stood with him to show that he isn't alone in this move for change.

Whether you agree with the movement or not, what happened at the track this weekend was a landmark moment in the history of NASCAR.

PHOTO: Chris Graythen/Getty Images