NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s team radio channel allegedly hijacked by racist comments
Over the weekend, the team radio channel for Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top racing series, was apparently hijacked by someone who took the opportunity to tell Wallace he’s “not wanted in NASCAR.”
The incident occurred during the race on Sunday, May 21, at the North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Carolina. Someone was apparently able to tap into the radio channel Wallace uses to communicate with his team and could be heard saying, “Go back to where you came from asshole. You’re not wanted in NASCAR.”
As of publication, Wallace hadn’t commented publicly on the incident. However, he did express disappointment after finishing second in the winner-takes-all All Star Race. In a video shared after the race, Wallace said, “All in all, proud of the effort” and added, “It just wasn’t meant to be. Five [winning driver Kyle Larson] was lights out and we were the best of the rest, so I guess we can be proud about that.”
As the only Black driver in NASCAR, Wallace has been fearless in his activism. In 2020, after the murder of George Floyd and the uprising against racial injustice and police brutality, Wallace wore an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt and put a #BlackLivesMatter sticker on his car. He was also instrumental in banning the Confederate flag from all NASCAR events.
“I still don’t see it as being political,” Wallace told Rolling Stone in a 2020 interview. “I just see it as basically right versus wrong.”
In 2020, there was another incident where someone from Wallace’s racing team discovered what they believed was a noose hanging from his garage at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. An FBI investigation ultimately found no evidence of a hate crime, saying the noose was actually a pull-down rope for a garage door that had been hung in 2019. It was also noted that while 11 other garage doors were outfitted with pull ropes, only the one in Wallace’s garage was tied with a hangman’s knot.
This incident is a clear example of the racist treatment Wallace has to endure as a Black driver in NASCAR and highlights the continued need for action against discrimination.