Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey waved the green flag at Talladega Superspeedway on Monday, officially signaling the start of the GEICO 500 after the race was delayed on Sunday.
The moment Humphrey, a Hoover, Ala. native waved the flag to begin the race in his home state came shortly after an emotional show of solidarity by drivers for Bubba Wallace.
NASCAR drivers rallied around No. 43 car racer on Monday, pushing his car to the front of pre-race ceremonies to show their support for Wallace, the Series' only Black driver, after a noose was found in his garage.
NASCAR announced on Monday that they are launching a full investigation of the matter and vowed to do everything possible to find who was responsible and "eliminate them from the sport."
"We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act," NASCAR said in a statement. "As we have stated unequivocally, there is no place for racism in NASCAR, and this act only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all."
The series recently banned confederate flags at races earlier this month, with NASCAR saying the presence of the flag "runs contrary to providing a welcome and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors, and our industry."
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