Marty Smith is very angry at the incident that happened at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday. The ESPN NASCAR reporter was on SportsCenter to talk about a noose being found in driver Bubba Wallace's garage, which led to an immediate investigation by NASCAR. Smith believes NASCAR took a step back on Sunday in terms of fighting racial and social injustice in the sport.
"I feel like a fool. I just told you, not an hour ago, 90 minutes ago, that the sport had come so far and then we see this," Smith said to SportsCenter host Scott Van Pelt. "And I will tell you that I spoke to a senior NASCAR official just a few moments ago and they reiterated that statement. They're going to find who this person is, they're going to eliminate this person from the sport forever." Smith went on to say NASCAR in a place where "this despicable crap, is not only not acceptable, but there’s just no place for it. And whoever that is, I hope that you are so ashamed of yourself."
Sunday's race, which was postponed, was the first race since March where fans could attend. Only 5,000 fans were allowed to see the race, and despite NASCAR banning Confederate flags, there was one flying over the race track. Wallace, the only full-time Black driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, asking for the flag to be removed at future races.
"He stood up for something he believed and he asked for help from other people who believe similarly," Smith continued. "The measures we’re taking to start taking those steps — and then we come down here to a place that I love." Smith went on to say he loves Talladega as it's his favorite race, which makes him angrier a noose was found in a driver's garage.
"I am so sorry that we even have to have this discussion tonight," Smith stated. "I was really thrilled that all of the fans who made their way into the race track today, did so without any confederate flag memorabilia, or clothing, or anything stashed. Anything like that. They came to see the sport we all love so much. And then someone who had access to the garage area does this s—. I am so — I'm just so frustrated by it." The postponed race will begin at 3 p.m. Monday on Fox.