Wallace Reacts After Hate Crime Ruled Out

The Bubba Wallace story took over the sports and news cycles for 48 hours. As it turns out NASCAR's only African-American driver was not the victim of a hate crime. The FBI determined the noose discovered in the Wallace garage at Talledega over the weekend had been there since last October.

"Although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week," the FBI statement read as it appears the controversy was more or less just a misunderstanding. Wallace had been outspoken in recent weeks, pushing for NASCAR to ban the use of the Confederate flag at race tracks. NASCAR agreed and the weekend race in Talledega was the first in which fans were allowed and the ban took effect. Wallace appeared on CNN Tuesday night after the FBI findings were announced and defended himself from those accusing him of perpetrating a noose hoax.

"I'm mad because people are trying to test my character and the person that I am and my integrity," Wallace said. He also defended his crew members for reporting the noose to NASCAR officials. "I talked to my crew chief about it. ... I wanted to make sure we weren't jumping the gun," Wallace said. "It was a noose. Whether tied in 2019, or whatever, it was a noose. So, it wasn't directed at me, but somebody tied a noose."

You can check out the Wallace interview with CNN's Don Lemon below.