FBI Finds NASCAR's Wallace Not Targeted by Hate Crime

Headline Roundup June 23rd, 2020

The FBI determined Tuesday that NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime. An investigation was opened up after a noose was reportedly seen in his garage stall, but the FBI reported that the rope had been there since October 2019.

Coverage from right-rated outlets tended to focus on the FBI's results, while coverage from left- and center-rated outlets highlighted the fact that Wallace had received death threats after his successful campaign to ban the Confederate flag. When it comes to wording, right-rated outlets also often used quotation marks when mentioning the word "noose," while several left-rated outlets made full use of the word in their headlines, and center-rated outlets tended to use more neutral terms like "rope."

FBI Finds NASCAR's Wallace Not Targeted by Hate Crime

From the Left
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NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime, the FBI concluded Tuesday after completing its investigation into an incident involving a noose in the garage stall of the top-flight Cup Series’ only African American driver.

After 48 hours that rattled and then galvanized stock-car racing at a fraught moment for the sport and the nation, the FBI said no federal charges would be filed after it determined that the noose had been there since at least October 2019 and that “nobody could have known” that Wallace’s...

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From the Center
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NASCAR went to Talladega Superspeedway on heightened alert after Bubba Wallace, its only Black driver, took on an active role in a push for racial equality.

Wallace had successfully called for the ban of the Confederate flag and received threats. Fans paraded past the main entrance of the Alabama track displaying the flag, and a plane circled above the speedway pulling a Confederate flag banner that read “Defund NASCAR.”

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From the Right
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OPINION

The FBI concluded on Tuesday that Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s only African American driver, was not the target of a hate crime and that the “noose” found in his team’s garage was actually a standard pull rope that had been there since last year.

"The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall. This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment,” NASCAR said in a statement....

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