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disgusting & shameful; Hamilton blasts racists who left noose in garage of black driver Wallace and tells him: I'm proud of you.

Byline: JACK STAPLEHURST

by JACK STAPLEHURST LEWIS HAMILTON has slammed the sick racists who left a noose in the garage of black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace.

The shameful act happened at the Talladega circuit in the southern state of Alabama on Sunday. And Hamilton, who attended a Black Lives Matter march in London over the weekend, was quick to offer support to his fellow driver.

The six-time Formula One world champion (right) shared an earlier social media post by Wallace and added the message: "It's disgusting that this is happening, stay safe and alert out there bro. Supporting from afar, proud of you."

Wallace is the only full-time African-American driver in the racing series and, like Hamilton, has thrown his weight behind the Black Lives Matter movement following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

Wallace, who wore a T-shirt at an event in Virginia earlier this month featuring the words 'I Can't Breathe', also campaigned successfully for the sport to ban the Confederate flag at its tracks and properties.

But the noose being found in his garage stall is a huge concern and the 26-year-old, who was born in Alabama, posted on social media: "Today's despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much farther we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism.

"Together, our sport has made a real commitment to driving real change and championing a community that is accepting and welcoming of everyone. Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate."

A statement from NASCAR read: "NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team. We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act.

"We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport."

Wallace drives for stock car racing team Richard Petty Motorsports and was in action last night in the rain-delayed GEICO 500 at Talladega.

The previous day a plane flew above the track trailing the Confederate flag and a banner that read: 'Defund NASCAR'.

CAPTION(S):

Wallace is the only black Nascar driver and campaigned for racial equality MAKING A STAND

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:JACK STAPLEHURST
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 23, 2020
Words:402
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