NASCAR, the ‘Noose,’ and the News Cycle [OPINION]
We should all be relieved that the whole NASCAR noose scandal was a misunderstanding. There was no hate crime or campaign of intimidation and that is important.
Don't blame racecar driver Bubba Wallace for the mistaken noose. According to all media reports, the Black NASCAR driver never saw the rope that was configured in a manner that appeared to be a noose. Wallace was told on the phone by a top NASCAR executive about the incident. It appears that a person other than Wallace misconstrued a rope in the garage stall as a hate crime and reported it. The media frenzy broke out and soon people who never watched a NASCAR event but thrive in the world of race were chasing the checkered flag.
The rope was a hand pull for the garage door.
A hangman's noose functions differently from a hand pull on a garage door. They can look similar but they perform differently and this is no small detail. The noose is a knot tied to constrict a neck while the knot tied for a hand pull is tied not to slip and constrict the hand.
The difference between the two knots is like a Matchbox car and a real race car. They look the same but they aren't and they certainly don't function alike. We all see guys in the mall wearing the No. 12 Patriots jersey, but we don't ask for an autograph because we know that guy doesn't function like Tom Brady.
The executives at NASCAR panicked and told Bubba Wallace and the world that there had been a hate crime. Bubba Wallace believed them and was outraged. The media naturally jumped on the story. The FBI investigated and determined the rope was as normal as the presence of tools and tires in the car garage.
It wasn't a hoax and it wasn't a hate crime and that is good. It was a mistake and we can all understand it and move on from it.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.