By on June 26, 2020

By now we have a pretty good idea about the facts surrounding the noose that rocked NASCAR, although there is still more to learn.

We know that it doesn’t appear to be a hate crime directed at Bubba Wallace. We know Wallace never saw it (unless at least one of a group including him, an anonymous team member, and NASCAR president, Steve Phelps are lying). We know, thanks to a pic shared by NASCAR that the rope was definitely tied into the form of a noose, and we know it’s been there since at least October of last year.

We don’t know why it was shaped like a noose, or why it’s apparently the only garage pull at Talladega to look that way, according to an investigation by NASCAR and the FBI. We also don’t know why that would be the case after a video shared from what appears to be NASCAR’s own YouTube channel a while ago appears to show several garage pulls that look like nooses. This article does remind us that garage access at Talladega was much less restricted in 2019. Fans even had some access. Likely we’ll never know who made the noose, or why.

While we wait for more facts to be sorted out, we need to keep one thing in mind. Even if there was no hate crime directed at Bubba Wallace, the sport’s only black driver at its top level, that doesn’t mean racism is no longer an issue. Even if there was nothing racial at all about this incident, that doesn’t mean racism doesn’t exist, within NASCAR and in the wider world at large.

You may think I’m pointing out the obvious. But lost in the excitement over what a team member may or may not have found in the garage were two facts – that despite NASCAR finally enforcing a ban on the Confederate flag it enacted in 2015, fans still flew the flag outside of the grounds, and one of those people flew a plane over the track with a banner bearing the flag and the message “Defund NASCAR.”

While that last bit suggests some racists aren’t clear on facts and reasoning – how, exactly, a private company would be “defunded”, save for fans never watching a race or buying a ticker or merch is beyond me – the fact is, the flag still flew.

And Bubba Wallace still took a lot of crap on social media he didn’t deserve. Replies to his recent tweets are sickening.

He was blamed for the incident being a Jussie Smollet-style hoax, despite the fact it appears, to this point, that this is no hoax and Wallace did nothing wrong. Some folks almost seemed gleeful that the noose wasn’t a hate crime – and not because they were happy a hate crime didn’t take place, which is a reasonable reaction, but because they were invested in the idea there’s no such thing as racism in NASCAR, or at all.

(Ed. note — a couple of you in the comments pointed out that the final sentence of the preceding paragraph isn’t true, because the people I’m referring to actually do acknowledge racism, they just believe it’s overblown. I apologize for the clumsy wording, I had a bit of writer’s block and was trying to get the piece done on a deadline Thursday, since I would be out of the office for personal business on Friday, which is when the piece ran. I didn’t catch this clunky wording while reading the draft. The sentence would read better as follows: “and not because they were happy a hate crime didn’t take place, which is a reasonable reaction, but because they were invested in the idea that racism in NASCAR and in the wider world is a smaller problem than it is.”)

Which, we know, isn’t true.

The comments from some of you on this piece proved that. Even this piece, stating that we’d simply be taking a day off under corporate mandate to honor Juneteenth, had a comments section that devolved into a mess.

This isn’t to scold those of you who post racist comments – our moderators will do that. Rather, it’s to say that even if this incident is just a dumb misunderstanding, it bears remembering that racism still exists everywhere and it’s a real problem. People protested during a pandemic because of it.

It’s a problem in NASCAR. Why else did it take until 2015 for the Confederate flag to get banned? Why did it take five more years and outspoken activism from Wallace to get the ban enforced?

Racism is a problem in the world, which means it’s a problem in the car world.

That’s true whether or not the noose was a noose or a knot, and whether or not there was any racial motivation at play here. Wallace may be able to rest easier at night – especially after the show of solidarity from NASCAR and his competing drivers – but the problem isn’t solved.

The first step is acknowledgment. So don’t let what appears to be a possibly positive outcome here (pending further investigation) distract you.

Our world is full of racism, and it’s up to us to change that.

That’s more important than arguing over any one garage-pull knot.

[Image: Bubba Wallace/Twitter]

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99 Comments on “No Matter What Happened with Bubba Wallace, We Still Have a Problem...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Man, this is SO three days ago, there’s so much new stuff to be outraged over. Can’t we just check what’s trending on Twitter and move along?

  • avatar
    ajla

    I disagree with some of your inferences here but I think your heart is in the right place.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Online chat these days seems filled with what “we” must do.

    Nobody can’t make others do things they don’t want to do. As such, the real question becomes, what each of us will be doing.

    What Tim Healy, will YOU be doing to combat racism in USA?

    If you want your coverage of this issue to have any real meaning, it must start there. Without that key piece, such writings are mere posturing.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      All I can do is listen, learn, and try to take other perspectives into account.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        Thanks for the reply!

        What you describe is, and always has been, my standard operating procedure.

        The trouble with generic statements like “We still have a problem” is that it points random fingers of accusation widely, without specificity, and therefore convicting virtually everybody else of racism. The “we” and the “problem” remain amorphus and undefined.

        In this specific case, is the “problem” a garage door pull? Who is the offender? If we can’t really define either of these things, we will get exactly nowhere.

        No problem can be resolved until it is defined with great specificity. So far, I have not heard anything even close to the required level of specificity for affecting change.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I think this is a good comment. “Our world is full of racism, and it’s up to us to change that” is a good bumper sticker slogan but it won’t really accomplish much.

          NASCAR has done a lot this year to combat racism:
          -They suspended Kyle Larson for saying the n-word and his team released him shortly after.
          -They completely banned the confederate flag from their properties.
          -They rallied heavily behind Bubba Wallace when they thought he was being racially threatened.
          -They contacted the FBI when they thought racial menacing occurred.
          -They are *still* investigating the incident to make sure there was no sinister angle.
          -They are going to train people to not tie noose-like knots in the future.

          I’m *not* saying that this means racism is gone or anything, but it sure seems like NASCAR is doing real things to get their house in order. It’s more than I have done. I’m guessing it is more than Tim has done, and I think it deserves more praise than he gave it here.

          NASCAR has very, very little control over people flying confederate flags on public or other private property or on what “HeilPEPE1488” does on social media so I’m not sure what Tim is looking for on those points beyond just general awareness.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Stating that we as a country have a problem with racism is in no way convicting you specifically of racism. If you’re not racist there’s no reason for your first response to such discussions to be defense.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “All I can do is listen, learn, and try to take other perspectives into account regardless of facts.”

        Fixed that for you.

    • 0 avatar

      “What Tim Healy, will YOU be doing to combat racism in USA?”

      First thing you need to do before engaging in combat – you need to get yourself a gun. I can recommend AK-47- real Russian made gun not that garbage Chinese knockoff.

  • avatar
    gtem

    “Even if there was no hate crime directed at Bubba Wallace, the sport’s only black driver at its top level, that doesn’t mean racism is no longer an issue. Even if there was nothing racial at all about this incident, that doesn’t mean racism doesn’t exist, within NASCAR and in the wider world at large.”

    Sooo this whole thing is an obvious “nothing” despite all the hand wringing, but you’re still gonna beat us over the head with the RACISM! club.

    I’m about done with this sh*t site and it’s sh*t current slew of editors.

    Enjoy fading into total irrelevance. I’m gonna go enjoy racing and spectating at my local oval track.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      We don’t know why that knot/noose was tied like that. I won’t speculate on the why, because I don’t have enough information. I know I would have tied a bowline or a monkey fist in that scenario.

      Even if there was nothing racist about the incident, Bubba Wallace has had racist messages directed at him afterwards. That is a problem.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        I’ll speculate. Thus far in this case the simple answer has in fact been the answer so as to why it was tied like that? I am going to guess because it made a nice handle with which to pull down the garage door.

        There was a demolition knot we tied out of det cord when I was a Combat Engineer. Don’t remember what it was called, but I remember being taught “Don’t wrap it 13 times because that is a noose”. I am sure that on some occasion I wrapped it more than 12 times because in the excitement of stuff going boom around me I just miscounted the wraps. Nothing more.

        Sometimes something just is what it is and has no deeper or sinister meaning. Some dude just wanted to be able to pull the darned door down.

        You are corerect…Racism exists. As such, it exists in racing. It is possible for that to be true AND for this particular incident to be a whole lot of nothing.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          I don’t think it has a sinister meaning. I think that is a knot someone tied a a handle. That’s it.

          I also think that with the heightened state of affairs that someone would perceive it as a noose.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Agreed. It is natural they would think the worst given the state of things and all that was going on around that race.

            I think it was actually handled well by all of the parties involved.

          • 0 avatar
            ktm

            People are looking to be offended. There is a Texas realtor group that announced they will no longer refer to the Master bedroom in the house as such as Master has connotations of slavery.

            I wish I was kidding.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      That’s the thing…racism remains a problem in the racing world

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      gtem, put yourself in Wallace’s shoes. If YOU were a Black guy and found out that there’s something that looks a whole lot like a noose hanging in your garage…in Alabama…what would your first thought be, given the history of Black guys, nooses, and Alabama?

      Put differently: if racism was truly a thing of the past, then would Wallace have over-reacted to this at all?

      You’re a smart guy…smart enough to walk a few feet in another guy’s shoes. Put yourself there before you judge.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Nobody is questioning the initial response and I would in fact argue that it is a model for how something like this should be handled.

        What people are questioning is why, after the FBI did an investigation and said this is all simply a matter of coincidence and terrible timing people are still trying to find racism in it.

        There are plenty of actually racist things to look at and discuss right now. This is not one of them.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Art, I don’t think anyone’s still trying to “find racism” in what happened here. But people ARE pointing out that it’s still a problem, which it is.

          If you want to know why Black folks “over-react” to “perceived” racism, the reason is simple: the problem still exists, and it’s pervasive. Yeah, they’re sensitive to ANYTHING that even smacks of bigotry. If you were in their shoes, I bet you would be too.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        I’m smart enough to see how all of these dubious scenarios (this and Smollet especially but all the other fake incidents across the country) continue to linger long after they’ve been disproved to still say “ya but you’re still a bunch of racists” and how this only serves to WORSEN race relations. When you keep beating white people over the head with these accusations and questioning “well what are YOU doing to combat racism,” they start to get tired of all of it. When you keep spreading these fake incidents and telling black people “hey look at all the racism still out here” you drive them to paranoia/racial neuroticism (or worse, narcissism) . I’m sick of it.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Uh…Black folks aren’t *being told* that racism is still out there, they’re *experiencing* that it’s still out there. It’s their reality.

          Put differently: if racism wasn’t a common problem for Black folks, then whoever you blame for “telling” them about it all the time would be ignored.

          As far as “being beaten over the head with how bad White folks are for being racist,” I’m White as hell and I don’t feel like anyone’s beating me over the head at all. I see it as a problem that still needs to be fixed, not a reminder of something I’m doing wrong.

          If someone wants to tag me as racist because of my skin color…well, I can’t control that, can I? All I can control is my own actions, and as long as I’m treating people fairly, and standing against the people who don’t do that, then I’m doing what I can.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            They’re being told that innocuous and happenstance things in everyday life are ALWAYS the racism bogeyman coming to get them. Dove soap is telling black parents that their children will inevitably be gunned down in the street (despite the stats not saying that AT ALL). Does racism still exist? Sure. Is it at an all time low in the entire history of the country? Yes. Are we on the cusp of making a big retrograde step by antagonizing normal people on both sides (black and white)? Most certainly.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    So it dates to at least October of last year, but seeing the picture, it’s definitely a noose. Whomever tied it knew what a noose was, and how to tie one. Just stupid random luck that Bubba got assigned this garage, but still, not good.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Wow thanks TTAC.

    I’m so glad I come to a car website in my spare time….and now I gotta hear about GD racism here too?! I’m so glad editors at a car website are talking to us about racism.

    Is there nowhere you can escape this political crap and lecturing?

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      Consider the 2020s a replay of the 1960s. Everything is political. There will be no escaping it, unless, of course, we excercise our God-given right to not read things which we don’t want to read. I’s pretty simply, actually.

      That said, I expect the next ten years to be more tumultuous than the 1960s– due to the reality of social media and forums like this, which serve as incubators for inflamatory rhetoric.

      A wise mentor once reminded me: “Respond, don’t react.” Online communications, by design, have the effect of illiciting reactions, not responses. For this, we are a weaker society.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      Time to start a TTAC Deathwatch.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J

      It Could have been a worse editorial like the one on that “other site” which was atrocious.

      I don’t know anything about NASCAR as I don’t follow the sport, but I’m not going to listen to all the media types about what sort of racism exists in a particular sport because they are biased as hell.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      We cover racing, on occasion. We covered the Wallace story. We covered the flag ban. And we cover politics and how they affect the industry on the regular.

      I know it’s easy to want to ignore racism. Wanting to escape is understandable. But it’s in the racing world, and it’s inescapable.

  • avatar
    subuclayton

    This whole thing should have been a non-story. People looking for racism will always “find” it because that is the lens their life is seen through. Others search under every rock for it because that is their new “raison d’etre.”

    Enjoy your new national anthem folks.

    • 0 avatar
      Dartdude

      Right on! This election year the democrats have a lousy candidate and won’t debate their ideas. So they and the media are going to big deal everything and try to shame whitey in to voting for them. I don’t worry because I not related to any slave owners. I’m still waiting for my white privilege to kick in.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “People looking for racism will always “find” it because that is the lens their life is seen through. ”

      Then try looking at this through the lens of someone who’s Black, knowing the history of Black folks and nooses in Alabama. And then take a good look around and ask yourself whether racial bigotry and violence has actually been done away with in the year 2020.

      Let me know what you think from that perspective.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        When I heard people say “I know a man lost his life, but look at all that destruction” I say “I know there was a lot of destruction, but a man lost his life”…

        While this particular case thankfully was probably just “a garage door pull”, our country is loaded with racism, and not just from white folks. Accidentally say that a Dominican is Mexican and watch the fur fly.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          No human being is somehow magically immune from bigotry. Hell, I got dumped by a girl in college who was mixed-race because her parents couldn’t handle the fact that I’m Jewish.

          (She wasn’t much of a girlfriend anyway though…LOL.)

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “This whole thing should have been a non-story. People looking for racism will always “find” it because that is the lens their life is seen through. Others search under every rock for it because that is their new “raison d’etre.”

      Enjoy your new national anthem folks.”

      This is the best comment so far. There is an ever increasing mob that is bent on making everything racist. A garage door that has a rope on it to pull it down? Perfectly logical explanation, but no it has to be racism…it cannot be anything else and we must lose our minds regardless of facts.

      These people are so eager to be greatly offended they look at history through the lens of modern sensibilities and get offended at what people did 150-500 years ago. They have nothing better to do. But rather than address the issues head on they rip down statues, burn down minority owned businesses, or try an hold people alive today accountable for the actions of people that dies 100+ years ago. It’s insanity

      That’s on top of an opportunistic political party that constantly tells various groups how oppressed they are and how they’re going to fix it for them and they never do. Minneapolis is a perfect example. The police and the police union are the true culprit in the systemic racism in the Minneapolis Police Department (that doesn’t exist but don’t lets facts get in the way). It’s not the political party that has ruled Minneapolis for 30+ years worrying about bike lanes or the name of a lake.

      • 0 avatar
        RedRocket

        That is the way of the Marxist/Maoist philosophy that is at the core of the BLM organization. Note I said “organization” and not the slogan or broader movement which is fundamentally good in its sentiment. Unfortunately it has been co-opted by a very well-funded organization which has as its goal that which has always been the goal of the Marxist philosophy – to destroy existing societal structures and norms to replace them with the Marxist things that have ultimately failed everywhere they have been tried and which exact a tremendous human cost. The “re-education” of those offering opinions different from what the voices of the movement are willing to accept (see Drew Brees) is pure Maoist Cultural Revolution stuff. Sadly our mainstream media has seemingly been either complicit or intimidated into not reporting the whole story, and most people take what they say at face value.

        Make no mistake: racism is bad, and needs to be minimized as much as possible. I doubt it will ever go away as it never has any place in the world of which I am aware, but removing obvious racist practices and symbols is fine. But when it expands beyond that one is treading on very shaky ground, and that is what we are close to. Not everything some activist claims is racist, is racist. It is just history, which can only be judged in its larger context.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “BLM is Marxist…”

          Yeah, Bubba Wallace, multi-millionaire sports start, is a Marxist. He lives on a collective farm with Colin Kaepernick. They share a bathroom. Together they own six pieces of clothing.

          Derp…

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    Here’s the myth:

    “TTAC was in a perfectly fine financial position and made excellent articles before stupid NordStar got involved and ruined the whole thing. They killed the TTAC brand because NordStar is bad and TTAC was an innocent profitable angel.”

  • avatar
    slavuta

    “.. but because they were invested in the idea there’s no such thing as racism in NASCAR, or at all.
    Which, we know, isn’t true.”

    We know about racism existence. CNN every day tells us that it is outrageous that 2 white males run for president. How racist (no joke)

  • avatar
    jkross22

    “While we wait for more facts to be sorted…”

    List of facts:

    – Social media brings out the worst in people.
    – Racism exists and it’s horrible.
    – Not every a-hole is a racist, but every racist is an a-hole.
    – Karen is a great term for entitled people, regardless of skin color or gender.
    – Social media brings out the worst in people.
    – 24 hour news is terrible because it reports on the same 2-4 stories and repeats them for 23 1/2 hrs each day.
    – Social media is a bullhorn for terrible people, and the media then amplifies those terrible posts to make them even bigger.

    People need to chill tf out.

  • avatar

    Over the past ten or so years, I’ve observed that politics has gradually inserted itself into American sports. Being a sports fan has always been for me at least, an escape from the reality of life, be it my work, family worries, or politics. I could attend a game, and have a bond with other fans supporting my team, or watch the game on television devoid of the politics of the day. That ship has certainly sailed. The insertion of politics, be it climate change, black lives matter, or whatever the cause of the day, has in my opinion been toxic to spectator sports in this country. I’m moving on.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Exactly. When I saw BLM on English Premier League jerseys, I turned off the TV, and I don’t even know the schedule.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        @ slavuta Are you inferring that the English Premier League does not have any black players? Thusly BLM logos weren’t needed? Or perhaps THE PLAYERS wanted BLM on their jerseys?

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          el scotto,

          Perhaps, in UK and in Europe in general, cops are not as trigger happy as in US, sentences are soft, and black players over there are celebrities just like other players. Remember that idiot – Balotelli? He is adapted African kid. Fans loved him when he played. They hated him when he did stupid and he did a lot of stupid. No, BLM is not a European thing. I doubt, these players even understand what they placed on their jerseys. A symbol of chaos, which would eventually lead to their demise as rich kids. Because people who pays to come to their games are definitely not from BLM crowd. These players are young people who don’t understand anything, even how to count their own money – agents do it for them. They are not educated at all. And how is this surprising that bunch of uneducated young people, who happen to be soccer players, join crowd of other uneducated people? Because any educated person would know the history and where such activities usually lead whole nations, most of the time irreversibly.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Bart: that is not factually true. MLB debated its segregationist policy for years before Jackie Robinson and for years after him.

      In Canada for decades we had American college stars come to play in our league because they were African-American and the NFL would not allow them to pay quarterback. We also had black coaches in Canada before the NFL.

      For decades the most popular hockey commentator in Canada would make fun of ‘chicken Swedes’, European players who ‘did not try in the playoffs’ French-Canadian players who ‘wore visors’ and other unacceptable comments until he was finally dismissed just recently.

      Soccer/football in the UK was a political football due to hooliganism. And there were numerous cases of fans making racially offensive comments to players.

      Augusta National the home of the Masters was accused for years of being both racist and sexist in its policies.

      The world of professional sports has never been an escape from racism.

      At least in can be said that NASCAR redressed these concerns quickly and effectively. Which is more than can be said for the NFL.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        “popular hockey commentator in Canada”

        why don’t you call him Don Cherry?

        “Don Cherry took a cheap shot at Alex Ovechkin that stretched beyond the boards of hockey into a flat out racist attack.”

        And now, end of snowflakinism

        “Alex Ovechkin smiled that gap-toothed smile of his and laughed off Canadian TV analyst Don Cherry’s criticism of his exuberant goal celebrations.

        – He’s a funny guy and old guy. He likes old-fashioned hockey, ….
        He’s not interesting to me, so he can say whatever he wants. I don’t care about him,”

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Many players have complained publicly about what Don Cherry has said about them or their ethnicity. But the final straw were his comments regarding Remembrance Day. As for OV he is a unique individual. Physically and emotionally very strong, and one of the greatest goal scorers in history. Since he is such an outlier, using him as an example is not particularly valid.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            ah, I see. Thanks for your opinion. You still have not answered to me, my question, “why in your opinion Buk operator in 2014 had to see a big jet. And, in this case, why in 2001 another Buk operator also did not see a big jet”? If you want to say some, you can say.

            Ovie is not any unique to me. He is a one-trick dog. Pavel Bure was light years more exciting Russian player. Even Fedorov was. And countless other players, like LaFontaine. May be Don Cherry had something in it. After all, exuberant celebrations might not match the quality of goals he scored. Datsuk scored half O8 goals but nearly each was a masterpiece.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        More of the crazy

        “I just received a phone call from an ABC Sydney based producer seeking a comment about the game of chess!

        The ABC have taken the view that chess is RACIST given that white always go first! “

      • 0 avatar

        No doubt politics or more specifically race relations have been a part of professional sports for quite some time My point was that if someone wanted to watch a game, it wasn’t front and center at every turn.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Remember Howard Cosell’s comments regarding Alvin Garrett?

          What about all the ‘great white hope’ boxers trotted out over the years?

          The comments that got Jimmy the Greek and Al Campanis fired?

          The fact that the Boston Red Sox endured years of futility because of their treatment/attitude towards first Catholic and later African-American player?

          The refusal of the NFL to let African-Americans play quarterback?

          The refusal of some college teams to integrate?

          The treatment of Jackie Robinson when he entered MLB?

          No racial questions have always existed in sports.

          • 0 avatar
            NigelShiftright

            “No, racial questions have always existed in sports.”

            All those examples you cited are racial issues involving players and commentators within the context of the game itself.

            The difference now is that we are seeing racial issues not involving the games themselves being dragged from the political arena onto the playing field.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Nigel: How about the Berlin, Munich, Mexico City, L.A. Moscow and Atlanta Olympics?

            All permeated by racial, or political issues.

            Or Don Cherry whose commentary included social and political issues often only peripherally related to hockey?

            Or American colleges refusing to allow integrated teams?

            Sports do not and never have existed in a bubble.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        I don’t think MLB had a racist policy per say. Kennesaw Mountain Landis was pretty much the God of Baseball back then as commissioner and I don’t think he ever had such a policy.

        There were however several racist owners at the time colluding to not sign them.

        Still, you look at baseball in the modern era and they have managed to mostly get it right I think, minus the DH in the National League this year of course.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          @ArtV.
          From 1934 to 1946 there were no African-American players in the NFL.

          The NHL had only one African-Canadian player until my friend Mike Marson became the 2nd African-Canadian player in league history and the first to be drafted by the league. Mike’s story in pro hockey includes a litany of racist behaviour and only lately has the NHL started to examine systemic racism in its sport.

          As for K. M. Landis, I am posting what Wikipedia says regarding this:

          James Bankes, in The Pittsburgh Crawfords, tracing the history of that Negro League team, states that Landis, whom the author suggests was a Southerner, made “little effort to disguise his racial prejudice during 25 years in office” and “remained a steadfast foe of integration”.[143] Negro League historian John Holway termed Landis “the hard-bitten Carolinian [sic] Kennesaw [sic] Mountain Landis”.[144] In a 2000 article in Smithsonian magazine, writer Bruce Watson states that Landis “upheld baseball’s unwritten ban on black players and did nothing to push owners toward integration”.[8

          In his 1961 memoir, Veeck as in Wreck, longtime baseball executive and owner Bill Veeck told of his plan, in 1942, to buy the Phillies and stock the team with Negro League stars. Veeck wrote that he told Landis, who reacted with shock, and soon moved to block the purchase. In his book, Veeck placed some of the blame on National League President Ford Frick, but later reserved blame exclusively for Landis, whom he accused of racism, stating in a subsequent interview, “[a]fter all, a man who is named Kenesaw Mountain was not born and raised in the state of Maine.”[150]

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      Politics were ALWAYS part of sports. Remember the Black Power salutes at the Olympics? Jesse Owens running in front of Hitler? Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier? The list goes on.

      Anyone who says politics being part of sports is a recent thing is simply ignoring the history.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    SIGH .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I think what really galls me about this whole thing is how quick some people were to point the “race baiter” label at Wallace. Instead, they should have looked at it from Wallace’s perspective: something that looked a whole lot like a noose was hanging in his workplace…in Alabama. Hell yes, he got upset, and if you were him, so would you.

    In that light, I’ve come to believe racism is not the root problem – it’s people who absolutely refuse to take one damn step in someone else’s shoes.

    And as far as Wallace’s over-reaction is concerned, consider this: if racial bigotry and violence were “handled,” there wouldn’t have been anything for him to over-react to. Want less over-reaction to perceived racism? Handle the problem. Simple solution.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I don’t agree that “handling” racial bigotry has any kind of simple solution. Individuals and even society only has so much ability to influence.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Agreed, the problem is complex, and the root issues run deep. But I think it all starts with lack of empathy. The only way someone can actually *be* racist is to simply disregard another person’s basic humanity. With empathy, that’s impossible; without empathy, it’s likely.

        “Walking in the other guy’s shoes” isn’t all that difficult, and it’s something each of us can do.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Wallace over-reacted because he’s been conditioned to by our current state of things. His now well publicized over-reaction just added to the flame and will serve to further drive incidents like this.

          I’m with Morgan Freeman from a few years ago: stop racism by “stop talking about it”

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Morgan Freeman is saying we shouldn’t talk about racism?

            Here’s his Instagram:
            https://www.instagram.com/morganfreeman/?utm_source=ig_embed

            And here’s his Twitter:
            https://twitter.com/morgan_freeman/status/1268990983355727875?lang=en

            And as far as this “conditioned to think racism exists everywhere” argument is concerned: I’d say it’s easy to be conditioned when you see it and experience it on a consistent basis, wouldn’t you?

            How about these suggestions for those of us who are “beaten over the head with racism”: 1) stop bulls**tting about what Morgan Freeman is saying, 2) stop supporting politicians who retweet old idiots shouting “white power” and call them “great people”, and 3) EMPATHIZE with Black folks versus saying they’re “conditioned.”

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            yeah it’s sad to see Morgan Freeman “go woke” and it’s a prime example of the state of Hollywood but everyone in general. From Corporate America on down the line. Take a knee or you’re a racist. “You’re not a frothing at the mouth anti-racist? Wow that means you’re a RACIST!”

            I suppose you thing I’d be well served by reading corporate-approved drivel like this:

            https://www.amazon.com/White-Fragility-People-About-Racism/dp/0807047414

  • avatar
    USAFMech

    This is a tough needle to thread but I think you (and most ‘hOt TaKeS’ here and elsewhere) conflate two things. Like using one very broad brush to paint two unrelated things.

    Yes, racism exists, overtly even in NASCAR. It’s a real problem and it’s 100% appropriate for TTAC to post and open for discussion. This site is and always has been about cars broadly, including racing, and racism is still a part of the sport. (Since when has TTAC *ever* shied away from the political connections to cars?)

    No, Wallace and NASCAR did not handle this very well. This inadvertent spark obviously landed on dry tinder, but they also fanned the flames and went overboard on the virtue signaling. Honest criticism of how this was handled is not inherently racist.

    There will be bad faith arguments making the same error in the other direction – that they tried to create a problem where none exists. But there is more than enough room (and evidence) for legitimate criticism.

    Either way, the comments will be a snarky, emotional minefield. Good luck.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J

      I don’t follow NASCAR. How exactly is NASCAR or its drivers racists?

      • 0 avatar
        USAFMech

        I found a website that does a good job chronicling most of the overt racism, including lawsuits targetted directly at NASCAR. Unfortunately, it doesn’t capture all of the name-calling, slurs, and behind-the-scenes stuff especially from the fans.

        It’s http://www.google.com.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          But doesn’t EVERY sport have “name-calling, slurs, and behind-the-scenes stuff especially from the fan”?

          You’re singling out NASCAR for something that’s endemic to ALL sports.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            Sure does. There’s a video of Kevin Garnett calling another player a “trash a$$ n***”

            Where’s the outrage?

          • 0 avatar
            USAFMech

            Are you referring to all the confederate flags at NBA games? Or the lawsuits alleging that the NBA discriminates against black athletes?

            I mean, I agree with your premise that racism is a broad problem. We’re mostly talking about it in relation to cars on this website.

            F1 is mostly European, where antisemitism is on the rise. I would certainly think if some anti-semitic nonsense came out of that, we’d be talking about it here, too.

        • 0 avatar
          Daniel J

          USAFMech,

          I’m talking Nascar and it’s drivers, not the fans. I see all sorts of derogatory things at WWE events, but that doesn’t make WWE or it’s Wrestlers racists. I’ve been to college football games and shocked by what fans say, much more than simply racism but even a hate for coaches and players, but that doesn’t make CFB evil.

          As far as NBA goes, where are all the white players? Yes, I went there. Because one can’t be discussed without the other. I argue that the NBA works on a meritocracy. The same doesn’t how for Nascar?

          • 0 avatar
            USAFMech

            Ah, it may be useful to separate NASCAR – the corporate entity – from NASCAR – the line workers and fan base.

            My criticism of NASCAR corporate is that they crossed the line into “woke”, which is divisive and stupid and dangerous.

            There is also the opposite problem that some of its employees, race teams (or, at least, certain members thereof), and certainly fans are raging, blatant racists.

            They handled this whole mess terribly on both accounts.

            I agree with your comment re meritocracy and suspect it’s also mostly true for NASCAR. There are better, simpler, more relevant explanations for the racial disparity than racism.

  • avatar
    RangerM

    Seems to me if I have greasy hands, having a loop in the rope makes it easier to pull down the door.

    A straight rope (no loop or knot) slips through greasy hands/fingers.

  • avatar
    lot9

    Every body wants to be a VICTIM.
    What a hoax pulled by the media. By not show the photo of the terrible noose – to keep from showing what their hoax, really was – people would realize that most everyone with a garage door – has a rope with a loop, hanging from it to release it.
    I put my hand in mine to do so. I would guess that Bubba has a loop in his rope hanging on his garage door, if it is like most people garages.

    I will quit watching NASCAR in the future. I do not want to be reminded of such SCAM pulled upon the gullible public and right out lies.

    NASCAR could have shown a photo of the whole garage and the BIG NOOSE, in question. That would have been the END of the story.

    Now, we will start protesting the garage door companies… Is that next?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree we need to protest garage door companies and make it a requirement that if you need something on your garage door rope to put your hand thru that it not be a loop but a handle that attaches onto the end of the rope without having to tie a knot. We need to make knots illegal. We need to correct this immediately and this needs to be under the oversight of the Federal Government with standards as to how this handle is made and it should be tested for its safety as well.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    This article is a great example why journalists are so hated. And they always double down.

    Garbage like this did not happen when RF ran the blog. Not under EIC Pro Tempore either.

  • avatar
    Hannity

    Been following TTAC from the beginning. Am truly sorry to say that I’ll be deleting TTAC from my Favorites. I can’t hack being lectured on politics and/or racism by an auto website. I don’t need the preaching. Goodnight.

  • avatar

    This whole website is drenched in racism.

  • avatar
    markf

    “Rather, it’s to say that even if this incident is just a dumb misunderstanding, it bears remembering that racism still exists everywhere and it’s a real problem”

    So the incident turned out to be BS but let the fake racism be a reminder that there could be real racism right around the corner.

    You have to be extra Woke to write something that stupid.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    “This article is a great example why journalists are so hated. And they always double down.”

    Agree this is why many are turning off the news. Real racism needs to be addressed directly and no one regardless of their race, religion, or sexual preference should worry about harassment or their safety but this incident is not that. If this were a real hangman’s noose displayed in a manner to deliberately display racism then yes this would deserve attention and should be dealt with. This incident to me is more to gain publicity and get sponsorship for Wallace. It is understable that younger NASCAR drivers want to get notoriety and get sponsorship especially from the major car companies and manufacturers but this is not the way to do it. NASCAR itself is rightfully taking action to end their old image and be more inclusive.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    Progress is never a linear rocket ship upwards towards a Utopian wonderland…and in an effort to make sure that 100% of untoward acts are noted, vetted and prosecuted…you will occasionally find innocence. There will be an app for this someday but until then it will require tireless vigilance…

    It is rather a slow trundle driven by natural death and collective common sense that will beat back our deeply ingrained backwards traditions.

    But we will no longer have to endure confederate flags at NASCAR races….forcing some to think before doing….which is an incredible nationwide success for all of our Sunday afternoons…

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I am happy they banned it. It is just stupid.

    But my problem with NASCAR is if you are going to spend so much time and effort slowing the cars down for the big tracks, then why do you run the big tracks in the first place? It isn’t really racing at that point.

    That and I’d like to see the term “stock body shells” enter the tech inspector’s vocabulary again.

  • avatar
    ravenuer

    I can’t help but believe NASCAR is thinking: “Good or bad, ANY publicity is good”.

    By the way, I stopped watching the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing when they stopped racing stock cars. So I really couldn’t care less.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    It would help if Bubba wasn’t a sphincter powered extrusion orifice.

  • avatar
    John R

    Thanks, Tim

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I’m tall, white, blue eyed and once had straw yellow hair .

    I’ll begin thinking racism is changing when random white guys stop walking up to me and begin yelling about “uppity n****rs !” on a constant basis .

    Try saying ‘hello’ first then begin your stupid racist tirades .

    FWIW, I also intensely dislike the black folks who say “I can do anything I want because I’m black” and the ever popular “black folks cannot be racist” .

    Very few innocents on either side .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      CoastieLenn

      “FWIW, I also intensely dislike the black folks who say “I can do anything I want because I’m black” and the ever popular “black folks cannot be racist”

      … and there’s, what I personally feel, is one of the huge rubs people are having with this whole “end racism” movement. There’s so much ambiguity about what racism actually is, even thru out this entire commentary section, and nobody can actually identify WHATS RACIST THAT YOUD LIKE CHANGED? You’re also not allowed to discuss or have an opinion on racism unless you’re specifically referring to white on black racism. To bring up ANY other form or direction of the ideology of racism, is deemed inherently racist. To suggest that white people are racist is ok, but to identify that black people are racist as well is racist. To identify and acknowledge any race/nationality is flawed is a step toward repair but until you can do that, there will be only conflict.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        That’s no entirely true .

        As most here know I live in the Ghetto and am a mixed race family .

        I always stand up against the cowardly liars who insist on spreading lies and distortions, many are right here and have zero self respect .

        I keep getting told that I’ll be shot one of these days because I speak up and out loudly against those who are racist .

        Racism is caused by fear of the unknown .

        -Nate

        • 0 avatar
          CoastieLenn

          Thank you for the reply Nate. As an outsider looking in, it just feels like any time a conversation is attempted with anyone that’s deep into this “ending racism” movement (I use quotes because I don’t want to call it BLM as BLM doesn’t seem too keen ending racism, it profits from it [different topic different day I’m sure]), the exchange is immediately ended or turns confrontational if the idea is even mentioned that (for lack of a better term) “non-whites” are capable of being racist because they’re the ones that are oppressed. When asked what they see as oppressive, unless it specifically involves police, the rhetoric goes vague and turns into- as Ben Shapiro calls it, “The Racism Boogyman”.

          I feel like racism toward black people is endemic to country-folk white people, and racism is endemic into deep urban environments EQUALLY. Neither has actual bases or firm evidence beyond those two cultures because outside those areas (the hills/backwoods and the inner city “ghettos”), people of all colors seem to get along just fine and live alongside each other perfectly well.

          IDK, maybe that’s incorrect but that’s what I see.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            And, therein lies the rub :

            On the T.V. and movies, all non white areas are dangerous and scary because fear is the hands down favorite to control others with .

            This goes both ways although some refuse to admit it .

            The jerkhoff who rammed my three day old truck December 16th jumped out of his BH,PH lot hooptie Nissan klunker and began goose stepping around the parking lot like Mussolini whilst waving his hands and yelling to the winos and druggies ” !? did you see that ?! the WHITE MAN hit my car !” .

            I was parked when he rammed me with his headlights off and scared the living s*it out of me, he hit the driver’s side door and I thought I was a goner .

            then the responding police officer ws of course black and flat refused to do any sobriety testing and let the guy go even though he had bogus insurance and was clearly and obviously high / drunk .

            Do I hate the guy who hit me ? no, I’m just pissed off that he was a worthless jerk who took the easy way out .

            Every one gets a turn in the barrel of life, how you respond shows your character .

            -Nate

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