NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace says he's still learning to "embrace" the idea of being an activist after finding himself at the center of the race debate in recent weeks.
In a passionate essay published in The Players' Tribune this week, the 26-year-old addressed issues of racism in sport and society but stated he never went looking for this newfound attention.
The unexpected spotlight comes after Wallace last month called for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag. Just days later, NASCAR and the FBI launched an investigation after a crew member discovered what appeared to be a noose in Wallace's garage at the Talladega Superspeedway.
he FBI report later found that the item had been in the team garage since last year and Wallace, therefore, was not a victim of a hate crime.
Following the investigation, the 26-year-old has spoken out on racism and has subsequently received a backlash, which included President Donald Trump calling for the driver to apologize.
"I've had more run ins with racist people than I have ever before in my life in the past few weeks. All because I spoke up," he wrote, in an essay titled 'Come Ride With Me.'
Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR's top circuit, says the recent investigation has been "really hard" to deal with and he has been frustrated by the ordeal.
"I'll say this [about the noose]. Having been in garage stalls on a regular day, hell, you don't notice those types of things," he wrote.
"There's so much action going on when you're in the garage, usually. And even for me, just standing there, when I climb out of the car and watch my guys work for a minute, I'm not looking at a damn rope that's hanging from the garage door.
"And so, whoever tied it, tied it and left it there, and that was it. And moved on. We're only at Talladega twice a year. And so, the reason that it sat there is because that was the first time the garage had been used since October."