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NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace fired back at the “hate” being leveled against him by President Donald Trump and encouraged his fans to always respond in love.
Wallace shared a lengthy statement on social media in an apparent response to Trump’s NASCAR remarks and his reference to the noose incident as a “hoax.” The sport’s only black driver addressed how to “deal with the hate being thrown at you” on Monday following a tweet by the president referring to the incident in late June in which what was thought to be a noose was found in Wallace’s garage stall ahead of a race in Talladega, Ala.
The president asked in a tweet Monday if Wallace had “apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX?”
More than a dozen FBI agents investigated the situation and determined that a “hate crime” had not been committed as the offending piece of rope had actually been a garage door pull which had been in place since last year. Wallace addressed “the next generation and little ones following my foot steps” in a statement posted on Twitter Monday.
“Your words and actions will always be held to a higher standard than others. You have to be prepared for that. You don’t learn these things in school. You learn them from trials and tribulations, the ups and downs this crazy world provides,” he wrote.
“You will always have people testing you. Seeing if they can knock you off your pedestal. I encourage you to keep your head held high and walk proudly on the path you have chosen,” Wallace added, telling fans to “work your tails off” towards the “reason” they were put on earth by God.
“All the haters are doing is elevating your voice and platform to much greater heights!” he wrote.
“Last thing, always deal with the hate being thrown at you with LOVE! Love over hate every day. Love should come naturally as people are TAUGHT to hate,” he concluded. “Even when it’s HATE from the POTUS..Love wins.”
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) July 6, 2020
The controversy landed Wallace with a rewarded contract from Beats by Dre which announced on Monday that the driver was joining their “family.” The company defended him in a statement saying the announcement was moved up because “hate cannot win the day.”
We weren’t going to announce this until later this week, but hate cannot win the day. No one should ever be asked to apologize for standing up for what’s right — we are proud to welcome @bubbawallace to the Beats by Dr. Dre family. pic.twitter.com/HeiC76MDle
— Beats by Dre (@beatsbydre) July 6, 2020
The president had also taken aim at NASCAR in his tweet for its ban on the Confederate flag at its events. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who invoked Jussie Smollett in her defense of Trump during a Fox News interview, also fielded questions during a Monday afternoon press briefing, accusing reporters of mischaracterizing Trump’s tweet.
Reporter: “Why is the President so supportive of flying the Confederate flag?”
McEnany: “The President never said that. Again you’re taking his tweet completely out of context.”
Reporter: “The President said that NASCAR saw bad ratings b/c they took down the Confederate flag.” pic.twitter.com/2WSEWOmrUY
— The Hill (@thehill) July 7, 2020
“The president was noting the fact that – in aggregate – this notion that NASCAR men and women who have gone and who are being demeaned and called racist and being accused in some venues of committing a hate crime,” she said at one point, “those allegations were just dead wrong.”
‘The whole point of the tweet was to note the incident, the alleged hate crime that, in fact, was not a hate crime,” McEnany added.
“At the very end, the ban on the flag was mentioned, the broader context of the fact that he rejects this notion that somehow NASCAR men and women who go to the sporting events are racist when in fact, as it turns out, what we saw with the FBI report and the alleged incident of hate crime, it was a complete indictment of the media’s rush to judgment once again, calling this a hate crime when the FBI completely dismissed that,” she said.
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