African-American Nascar driver Bubba Wallace has sent out a tweet condemning words of “hate from the president of the United States”.
Wallace is the sole full-time black driver in the US racing organisation and was instrumental in it banning the Confederate flag from races.
A noose was later found in his garage but an FBI inquiry determined “no federal crime was committed”.
President Trump called the story a hoax and suggested Wallace should apologise.
Wallace has been a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has come to the fore since the death in police custody of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.
The movement has sparked a campaign to remove symbols associated with slavery, imperialism and the Confederacy. President Trump has strongly defended the monuments as part of US history.
The FBI investigation found that the noose was in that garage as early as October 2019 and “nobody could have known Mr Wallace would be assigned the garage… last week”.
Wallace rejected suggestions the noose was a door handle, saying “what was hanging in my garage is not a garage pull”.
But President Trump on Monday tweeted: “Has Bubba Wallace 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.”
He did not elaborate on his allegation.
He said the noose incident and the removal of the flag had caused Nascar’s “lowest ratings ever”.
Source: BBC Sport News