NASCAR alum Mike Skinner's son Dustin recently sparked criticism with comments about Bubba Wallace amid the now-closed investigation into a pull rope with a noose handle. Dustin commented on Facebook that he wished someone would have tied the noose to Wallace, but he later apologized. However, the former Rookie of the Year in Skinner released a statement distancing himself from his son's comments.
"I am devastated by what he said and have spoken with him regarding his comments," Skinner said as part of a long statement. "While I do not believe in airing family grievances on social media, I feel strongly that it is important I publicly state that his comments do not reflect the opinions of Angie or me, and we apologize to any fans and industry personnel who were hurt because of his comments. Angie and I are proud to be part of the NASCAR community and applaud the changes the sanctioning body has made over the past few weeks to change not only the sport's policies, but also the culture. The sport of NASCAR is and will be a better place because Bubba Wallace raced in it."
Dustin previously praised the noose in a Facebook comment while also saying that Wallace "single-handedly destroyed" the sport that he spent 30 years watching. Following considerable criticism on social media and his father's statement, Dustin ultimately walked back on his comments. He said that he loves everyone and that situation "was not about race." He just wants the world to pull back together and find a positive way to agree or disagree.
Skinner is not the only person who released a statement following Dustin's comments. Skinner's wife Angie, who is not Dustin's biological mother, wrote a long open letter. Her relationship with Skinner made her want to say something, and a close friend provided a platform.
"We pray Dustin changes his views," Angie wrote. "He already broke down, apologized and realized how horrific and hurtful his comments were. He asked what to do and we suggested apologizing and learning from the outburst. Again, we pray that his views change. But it's up to him to handle.
"Mike will not stop loving his son because the public demands him to," Angie continued. "Mike will promote his positives and hope he continues to grow and love; reminding him of his good qualities and using love and positivity to change his attitude one day at a time." Angie also explained that she did not initially know about Dustin's comments due to changing habits. She and Skinner rarely watch the news or keep up with NASCAR media.