Bubba Wallace’s mother, Desiree, said in an interview on SiriusXM that her son has been called the “n-word” and told he doesn’t “belong” during his racing career.Desiree’s comments came after a noose was found in Wallace’s garage in Talladega, an incident she said was of a new “magnitude.”Wallace released a statement after the incident saying he would not let the racist gesture “break” him.Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Desiree Wallace, the mother of NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, said her son has been exposed to racism in the racing world before.On Sunday, NASCAR announced a noose has been found in Bubba’s racing garage in Talladega, prior to the Cup Series race on Monday. NASCAR said it would launch an investigation into the incident.On Monday, Desiree said on SiriusXM’s “The Joe Madison Show” that Bubba has been called the “n-word” and told he doesn’t “belong” before. It’s unclear if she meant in NASCAR or throughout his racing career.”This is not his first incident,” Desiree said. “He’s been involved with incidents on the track. If he gets into it with another driver they’re quick to throw out the n-word. He’s been told he doesn’t belong here. We’ve been through all that.”
Desiree said that the noose found in Wallace’s garage was the first incident of racism of that “magnitude” that he has experienced.The incident came weeks after NASCAR banned Confederate flags from its events.Since the death of George Floyd, Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR, has been vocal in his support for Black Lives Matter, driving a car that said “Black Lives Matter” on it while wearing a shirt that said “I Can’t Breathe.”
Bubba Wallace wears an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt before a race in June.
Brynn Anderson/AP Images
In April, Wallace also issued a lengthy statement after NASCAR driver Kyle Larson used the “n-word” during a virtual racing series. Larson was suspended by NASCAR and dropped by his racing team shortly after.
Wallace said he spoke to Larson and told him how hurtful the word was. Wallace also said that while NASCAR has been unfairly represented, historically, as a “‘racist and redneck sport,'” he has been “arguably the biggest voice” on inclusion and diversity in the sport.On “The Joe Madison Show,” Desiree said she has always told her son not to retaliate against people usinfg racist language, instead telling him to focus on winning.On Sunday, Wallace released a statement about the noose, saying it was a “painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society.”He also said his mother gave him advice on how to handle it, and said the incident would not break him.
“As my mother told me today, ‘They are just trying to scare you.’ This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to stand proudly for what I believe in.”On Monday, the entire NASCAR field walked behind and alongside Wallace’s No. 43 car before the start of the race in a show of solidarity.