Bubba Wallace has been a target of some NASCAR fan hate since he began racing.
That hate was amped up following an incident at Talladega a few years ago when a noose was purportedly found in his garage. Some fans at the time thought that Wallace was just looking for attention and made the incident up.
Recently, Wallace has been on the receiving end of some particularly harsh and racist attacks once more.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has seen over the years how Wallace has been treated by some NASCAR fans, including an incident that took place at Darlington, and he came to his defense.
“I was at Darlington a couple weeks ago,” said Earnhardt. “We’re on this stage, and it’s the 75 greatest drivers all lined up. Outside of me, these are the greatest drivers that have been involved in the sport. All distinguished, of varying ages, everybody’s there to have this great experience. And the drivers are being introduced and walking by us, shaking our hand one after the other. And it’s this moment where everybody, you would think that it would be a moment where you’d behave.
“And there’s this one guy at the rail, the rail of the fans that are down on the front straightaway, there’s one guy at the rail. Everybody for the most part is just cheering. There’s a couple, you know they give a couple people a hard time, Denny (Hamlin) and all that. A smattering of boos. Nothing crazy.
“But Bubba gets introduced and walks across the stage and there’s this guy right in front of me and Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth and everyone else there, screaming at the top of his lungs, ‘Go home! Go home! Go home!’ over and over, as loud as he could.”
Earnhardt wanted to do something about it and was embarrassed by the whole thing.
“And it was so obnoxious,” he continued. “I really wanted to jump down there and go, ‘Hey, could you stop? Is this really what you want to do right in this moment? Is this how you want to behave right now in front of all these incredible people that you’re standing in front of? Richard Petty and all these legends, you’re going to be acting this way?
“I will tell you, man, Bubba Wallace puts up with more **** than anybody deserves.”
NASCAR has tried for years to clean up its act when it comes to race relations and Earnhardt Jr. was one of the few drivers who have actually spoken up publicly about incidents like this which still happen all too frequently.