The owner of a North Carolina racetrack posted an ad for a "Bubba rope" on Facebook Marketplace.
In his post, 311 Speedway owner Mike Fulp said the ropes "come with a lifetime warranty and work great" before later removing the post.
Fulp also organized a "Heritage Night" at the course and encouraged spectators to "purchase your Confederate Flags & Caps here along with your Christian Flag, American Flag, Donald Trump Flag & Caps."
The track has since lost sponsors and races, with a spokesperson for the governor of North Carolina calling Fulp's actions "horrific and shameful."
A North Carolina racetrack is facing repercussions after its owner made light of Bubba Wallace's run-in with a noose.
Mike Fulp — the owner of 311 Speedway — posted an ad for a "Bubba rope" on Facebook Marketplace in reference to the noose NASCAR found in Wallace's garage stall at the Talladega Superspeedway prior to the GEICO 500 on June 22.
In the post — which has since been taken down — Fulp wrote "buy your Bubba Rope today for only $9.99 each, they come with a lifetime warranty and work great," per USA Today. The ad came mere days after NASCAR and the FBI determined that the noose was not intended as a hate crime against Wallace, the lone Black driver currently competing in NASCAR's Cup Series.
Fulp's Facebook Marketplace post prompted a backlash from sponsors, races, and politicians alike.
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According to the Winston-Salem Journal, a concrete company — Loflin Concrete of Kernersville — pulled its sponsorship from 311 Speedway in response to Fulp's online activity. Likewise, the Carolina Sprint Tour has canceled two upcoming events scheduled at Fulp's half-mile dirt track. The Racesaver Sprint Series posted its decision to pull the events on its Facebook page, stating that "we do not condone nor support the comments and posts that have been made the past week."
"After much discussion with our officials, a few drivers and teams we at TriboDyn Lubricants Carolina Sprint Tour have made the decision to withdraw our events from 311 Speedway for the remainder of the 2020 season," the post said. "We will not put our sponsors, IMCA Racing, series, drivers, teams, owners, fans or families in a negative light such as what's happened recently. We will be working diligently to fill in the dates of July 25th and September 26th at other venues. 2020 has been a year to test us all and we can't wait for 2021 to arrive!"
In an interview with the Greensboro News & Record, Fulp said he's lost "all but two" of his sponsors for the 311 Speedway since posting about the "Bubba rope."
"They went on my website and contacted all my sponsors," Fulp said. "They found pictures of race cars here, and said they'd contact anyone who sponsors the racecars and give them hell."
"My business rating on Facebook went from a 4.5 down to 2.2 with people leaving bad reviews," he added. "They destroyed it, man."
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
The governor of North Carolina even got involved in the fallout over Fulp's comments. In an email to RockinghamNow.com, Ford Porter — a spokesperson for Governor Roy Cooper — wrote that the "incident of racism is horrific and shameful" in response to the "Bubba rope" ad.
"North Carolina is better than this," Porter added.
The post is not the only controversial action Fulp has taken in recent weeks. The 311 Speedway owner organized a "Heritage Night" at the course and, in another Facebook post, encouraged spectators to "purchase your Confederate Flags & Caps here along with your Christian Flag, American Flag, Donald Trump Flag & Caps."
Fulp later canceled the event — which he renamed "Stand for America" — for safety reasons. He told the Greensboro News & Record that he's received death threats in response to both posts.
"I received death threats this week, all week long," Fulp said. "People called and left messages, threatening me, threatening my mama, threatening my granddaughter. My girlfriend got threats. My employees got harassed. I had seven employees quit."
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
The original plan for the event presumably came in response to NASCAR's recent decision to ban Confederate flags from all of its events. The association's decision to distance itself from the racist, archaic symbol prompted outrage from many of its fans, some of whom protested the ban by brandishing Confederate flags outside of the Talladega Superspeedway prior to the GEICO 500. Still, NASCAR has stood firm in its new stance, with athletes and fellow drivers rallying in support of Wallace and many fans applauding the association for its antiracist efforts.
NASCAR drivers staged a beautiful display of support for Bubba Wallace — NASCAR's only Black driver — pushing his car and standing with him during the national anthem after a noose was found in his garage stall
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