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Alabama Governor ‘appalled’ at ‘vile act’ against Bubba Wallace

NASCAR Cup Series Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500

MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA - JUNE 10: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet, wears a “I Can’t Breathee - Black Lives Matter” t-shirt under his fire suit in solidarity with protesters around the world taking to the streets after the death of George Floyd on May 25, speaks to the media prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on June 10, 2020 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statement Monday morning that she is “shocked and appalled to hear of yesterday’s vile act against Bubba Wallace in Talladega.” Gov. Ivey also said she would “commit to any way possible to ensure that the person responsible for this is caught and punished.”

NASCAR announced late Sunday that a noose was found in the garage stall for Wallace’s team at Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR has announced an investigation is underway. U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town stated that the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Alabama, FBI and Department of Justice Civil Rights Division are “reviewing the situation surrounding the noose that was was found in Bubba Wallace’s garage to determine whether there are violations to federal law.”

Here is Alabama Gov. Ivey’s full statement:

“I am shocked and appalled to hear of yesterday’s vile act against Bubba Wallace in Talladega - there is no place for this disgusting display of hatred in our state. Racism and threats of this nature will not be condoned nor tolerated, and I commit to assisting in any way possible to ensure that the person responsible for this is caught and punished. While the important conversation of racial reconciliation is ongoing all over our country, it is clear there is much work to do. Bubba Wallace is one of us; he is a native of Mobile and on behalf of all Alabamians, I apologize to Bubba Wallace as well as to his family and friends for the hurt this has caused and regret the mark this leaves on our state. I ask the NASCAR family to rally around Bubba and his team as they compete today and I know that there are more people who are wishing him well today than ever before.”

Alabama Senator Doug Jones stated on Twitter: “We’re with you Bubba.”

Alabama Rep. Bradley Byrne tweeted: “I am appalled that anyone would hang a noose anywhere near a black person. This is a despicable and cowardly act, and I condemn it in the strongest terms.”

Richard Petty Motorsports confirmed to NBC Sports that team owner Richard Petty will be at Talladega Superspeedway on Monday. He hasn’t attended a race since the series resumed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jamie Little of Fox reported that NASCAR allowed Richard Petty Motorsports to check its car Monday morning to make sure nothing was tampered with while it was impounded overnight.

Eric Nyquist, NASCAR’s head of communications tweeted: “Our sport deserves the NASCAR we all want. One where everyone (with) a racer’s heart is welcome and excited to be at the track, regardless of color, love or faith.”

Also Monday morning, Xfinity Series driver Brandon Brown stated on Twitter that his team has disassociated itself from Hunter Bullins, a pit crew member who tweeted early Monday: “Show me where there has been blatant racism in NASCAR. Bubba Wallace sorry this happened to ya bro. But this sport has never been criticized for being at all racist.:

Bullins’ Twitter account has been taken down.

In a tweet, Brown stated on Twitter: “Blatant racism will not be tolerated on my team, we do not associate with the actions or words of Mr. Bullins. I was shocked to see what was brought to light this morning and I am having Brandonbilt Motorsports take action immediately.”

Monday morning also saw many in the NASCAR garage voice support for Wallace.