Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling recently took aim at NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace amid the investigation into a rope with a noose fashioned into its end. He responded to the news that the FBI had concluded its investigation by saying that "it was all a lie." He also compared Wallace to actor Jussie Smollett.
"So we have @JussieSmollett v 2.0? Where is the media recanting their idiocy?" Schilling tweeted. Smollett allegedly staged a racist and anti-gay attack against himself in Chicago in January 2019. He faced charges of lying to the police. Wallace's situation was different considering that he never saw the rope and only worked off of the information provided to him by NASCAR officials and the FBI.
Following the Wallace tweets and an argument with Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer, Schilling deactivated his Twitter account. He reportedly joined Parler, a new social media account that's become popular with conservative politicians. He announced the move on Facebook.
Schilling is one of many Twitter users to compare Wallace to Smollett following the investigation despite the FBI consistently referring to the rope as a noose. Several have said that he purposely helped NASCAR create a hoax in order to "build his brand." Longtime announcer Mike Joy has heard these comments and directly addressed them prior to Saturday's Pocono 325.
"Pundits that don't know Rusty Wallace from Bubba Wallace from Bubba Watson or Bubba Pollard have all weighed in as they tried to settle on the answers to two questions," Joy said. "First, was this a Jussie Smollett-style grab for attention? Absolutely not! The drivers are not allowed in the garage area during the pandemic. Wallace never saw the noose, only was told about it." Joy also explained that he believes NASCAR reacted appropriately considering that there were protesters outside of Talladega Superspeedway, as well as a massive Confederate flag flying over the track. He said that racing's governing body believed one of its drivers was legitimately in danger and wanted to protect him.
Wallace, on the other hand, responded to the critics and said that he is "pissed" by their hoax claims. He said that these allegations will fuel his competitive drive and will only push him to try to shut them up. Wallace said that he will not let these allegations break him or tear him down.
Wallace will have another opportunity to silence his critics on Sunday during the Pocono 350. He will start the race near the middle of the pack after finishing Saturday's race 22nd overall. Securing the victory will not be easy, but Wallace will have extra fuel after hearing the critical comments.