A Wisconsin golf coach resigned after sending multiple racist tweets toward NASCAR driver Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. Wallace, an African American, was recently revealed to drive the legendary #43 owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty. Next season, Wallace will be the lone African American racing full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and unfortunately has caused some ignorant racist NASCAR fans to confirm ugly stereotypes about the sport.

Brent Nottestad of Cambridge High School sent multiple tweets directed toward Wallace on Wednesday night and while they have all been deleted, showed that they were racist in nature. One tweet even included a supposed reference to an Alabama white supremacist group.

On Wednesday, Wallace responded to a Bleacher Report story about him where he describes his role in NASCAR being the lone African American driver in the top series.

Wallace isn’t someone who inserts his race in every conversation but at the same time, he can’t ignore who he is. And like Wallace said, you can’t tell him apart from anyone else when the drivers are suited up and strapped in and ready to race.

For some, it doesn’t matter what you say, they will think what they want and that’s the case with Nottestad. As reported, Nottestad’s tweets were deleted but this was what he wrote.

“Will this fella just go away. Can’t drive himself out of an open wet paper bag. Sad to see the sport let this clown with zero ability.”

“Hey @BubbaWallace. Please quit with, ‘I’m black’ bs. You’re terrible. There are 1423 more credible drivers to get that ride than you.”

In a response to Wallace’s tribute to his recently deceased grandmother, “Granny Jan die in a police shooting?”

In a response to a pic of a fan posing with Wallace, “Almost looks like going to the zoo.”

The number “1423” may seem like a random number but it instead has another potential meaning. That number is a reference to 14/23, a symbol of the Southern Brotherhood white supremacist prison gang out of Alabama. It refers “to the ’14 Words’ slogan (“We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children”) and the “23 Precepts” of the Southern Brotherhood.”

Nottestad told ESPN that he had no idea what the number meant and it was random and that he “didn’t know what he was thinking.”

The 24-year-old Wallace responded with class, which seems the norm for him when faced with something like this.

This is why I, myself, can’t believe Nottestad’s apology. I could believe him if it was a single tweet that was a mistake but this is a systemic form of racist behavior and he assumed that he could do it without consequence. Actions (or tweets) speak louder than words. Nottestad is a 42-year-old man and if Wallace hadn’t responded to him, he would’ve remained a racist bully toward him. Nottestad only apologized because he got called out and lost his job. A 42-year-old man should know better and wouldn’t do this in the first place, especially one who was a coach and mentor to high school kids. I hope this guy is honestly going to change for the better and sets a positive example for his family and friends, but I’ll believe it if I see it.

Wallace had won six times in the Camping World Truck Series and was racing full-time in the Xfinity Series the start of this year until a lack of funding placed him out of a ride at Roush Fenway Racing. Right after then, Aric Almirola broke his back and Wallace was hired to fill in until Almirola became healthy. Wallace raced four times and after a rough debut, improved after every race, eventually finishing 11th in his final race at Kentucky. Petty was impressed and with Almirola going to Stewart Haas Racing, Petty hired Wallace to drive the #43.

From personal experience, I interviewed Wallace earlier this year and I was curious to know about him continuing Wendell Scott’s legacy and he was happy and proud to talk about him and his friendship with the Scott family. If somebody asks and is genuinely curious about Bubba Wallace’s life story as an African American NASCAR driver, he’s open to talk about that. At the same time, Wallace also wants to be seen as a NASCAR driver who just happens to be African American, not just being known as the African American NASCAR driver.

But I am concerned about one thing. I really hope NASCAR has a plan to prepare if a racist wishes to do bodily harm to Wallace. NASCAR has enjoyed the positive press of Wallace coming into NASCAR (which deserves to be celebrated) but has shied away from making any sort of remarks against a small but loud section of racist NASCAR fans which due to them, has convinced many to assume NASCAR as the “racist sport.” And a lack of action is only going to make things worse, in addition to keeping many fans away from the sport.

In the case of Wallace and this racist, I don’t want to say anything will happen but it can’t be ignored that something serious could happen. And I don’t want to be writing up a story in the future that something serious happened to Bubba Wallace because of some stupid racist and everyone asks themselves “How could we let this happen?” Let’s do something about this now.

[The Cambridge News/ESPN]

About Phillip Bupp

News and soccer editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. I also do video highlight game coverage for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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