Last Updated: 06/07/20 4:51pm
Donald Trump has criticised Bubba Wallace and says the NASCAR driver should apologise for what the US President claims is a ‘hoax’.
Trump has also attacked NASCAR’s decision to ban the Confederate flag at its races and venues.
The President accused Wallace of perpetrating ‘a hoax’ after one of his crew members discovered a rope shaped like a noose in a garage stall they had been assigned to.
Federal authorities ruled last month that the rope had been hanging there since at least last October and was not a hate crime.
Wallace, who is the only black driver in NASCAR, did not originally find or report the noose, and told NBC: “I was relieved just like many others to know that it wasn’t targeted towards me.”
But Trump tweeted on Monday: “Has @BubbaWallace 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?
“That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!”
Wallace has taken an active role in the push for racial equality, racing with a Black Lives Matter paint scheme in Virginia and successfully lobbying for NASCAR’s Confederate flag ban.
For more than 70 years, the flag was a common sight at NASCAR races. The series first tried to ban the Confederate flag five years ago but did nothing to enforce the order.
Another driver, Tyler Reddick, has responded to Trump’s tweet.
He said: “We don’t need an apology.
“We did what was right and we will do just fine without your support.”
Trump’s claim about the NASCAR ratings is also contentious, with reports in America stating that ratings have actually risen of late.