Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is investigating after a noose was found in the stall of a black driver who spearheaded a successful campaign to stop NASCAR’s use of the confederate flag. ‘Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team’, read a statement, outlining that the noose was left following Sunday’s race at Talladega Speedway. ‘We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act. We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport. 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.’
‘Today’s despicable act of racism ad hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism’, read a statement from Darrell ‘Bubba’ Wallace Jr., NASCAR’s only black driver, on Twitter (below). ‘Together, our sport has made a commitment to driving real change and championing a community that is accepting and welcoming of everyone. Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate.’
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) June 22, 2020
The confederate flag is an adaptation of a battle flag used by slave owning states in the US civil war. As such, it is considered racist by many, and has been adopted as a symbol by white supremacists.