However, at no point during the video do they mention that the FBI determined that the “noose” was a garage pull and Wallace was not a victim of a hate crime at all.
In June of 2020, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace claimed that a rope fastened to the front of his garage stall was a noose. An uproar ensued, in which the NASCAR world rallied around Wallace in a show of support against what was thought to be a racial hate crime. However, a detachment of FBI investigators concluded, based on the fact that the rope had been in place at the stall long before Wallace's #43 team had been assigned that stall, that the “noose” was in fact a garage pull and Wallace was not the victim of a hate crime.
However, those facts did not deter ESPN from creating a television special out of what was clearly not a hate crime.
Last year, a noose was found in Bubba Wallace's stall at Talladega Superspeedway. The next day, the NASCAR community stood with him in unity.
"I was like, 'Holy s—, it's the whole garage.' … That's when I lost it." pic.twitter.com/Zh5HWumagX
— ESPN (@espn) December 14, 2021
The video picks up the story as dozens of NASCAR drivers, crew members, and owners flank Wallace's vehicle as they walk beside him in support. Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson gives heartfelt testimony about how he wanted to stand by Wallace during the national anthem. The video also includes a tearful Wallace expressing how he became the most emotional when he realized the “whole garage” was walking out to support him.
Early in the video, NASCAR President Steve Phelps calls the show of support Wallace received “the most incredible noncompetitive moment in sports” that he had ever seen. Yet, as Phelps and NASCAR should have known since the garage areas at Talladega are all under video surveillance, the garage pull that Wallace claimed was a noose had been in place since October.
In fact, the FBI used footage from those same cameras to determine that the garage pull was in place long before Wallace was assigned to that stall.
However, at no point does the trailer mention that the entire thing was fake, and Wallace wasn't a victim of a hate crime at all, a fact that ESPN themselves reported on June 23, 2020.
In that article in June of 2020, ESPN even directly quoted NASCAR's statement announcing the FBI's findings.
“The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall,” NASCAR said in its statement. “This was obviously well before the 43 team's arrival and garage assignment.
“We appreciate the FBI's quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing.”
Twitter users were quick to blast ESPN and NASCAR:
ESPN is one of those garbage outlets where employees lack both talent and ethics
— Dan Gainor (@dangainor) December 14, 2021
Also from ESPN:
FBI says rope had been in Talladega garage since October; Bubba Wallace not victim of hate crimehttps://t.co/Z0mIQIVxFm
— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) December 14, 2021
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) December 14, 2021
So we’re still perpetuating this hoax with a garage pull and didn’t learn anything from Jussie?
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) December 14, 2021
— Brockstar☘️ (@brockstar91) December 14, 2021
Whatever ESPN considers itself in the business of doing these days, it certainly isn't in the business of reporting factual news.