When what appeared to be a noose was found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace at Talladega Motor Speedway, the NASCAR community rallied around Wallace, who is the lone black driver on NASCAR’s main circuit. The FBI concluded that the rope was not actually a noose, rather it was a door pull and that Wallace was not the victim of a hate crime. 

On Monday, President Donald Trump sent out a tweet criticizing Wallace, calling the noose investigation a hoax. “Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!” Trump tweeted. 

Wallace responded later Monday with a long statement he posted on his Twitter account. Wallace called out the president saying, “Your words and actions will always be held to a higher standard than others. You have to be prepared for that. You don’t learn these things in school. You learn them from trials and tribulations, the ups and downs this crazy world provides. You will always have people testing you. Seeing if they can knock you off your pedestal. I encourage you to keep your head held high and walk proudly on the path you have chosen. Never let anybody tell you [you] can’t do something! God put us all here for a reason. Find that reason and be proud of it and work your tails off every day towards it! All the haters are doing is elevating your voice and platform to much greater heights! Last thing, always deal with the hate being thrown at you with LOVE! Love over hate every day. Love should some naturally as people are TAUGHT to hate. Even when it’s HATE from the POTUS. Love wins”

NASCAR also issued a statement, showing support for Wallace. “We are proud to have Bubba Wallace in the NASCAR family and we commend his courage and leadership,” the statement read. “NASCAR continues to stand tall with Bubba, our competitors and everyone who makes our sport welcoming and inclusive for all racing fans.”

Other athletes, including LeBron James and Jimmie Johnson, have shown their support for Wallace as well. 

Trump mentioned that NASCAR’s ratings are down because of Wallace, which is  actually far from the truth, as since the sport’s return back in May, NASCAR’s ratings are up 8%.