Bubba Wallace is taking the high road after facing criticism from President Donald Trump.
In a tweet sent out Monday morning, Trump claimed the 26-year-old NASCAR Cup Series driver should apologize for being part of a "hoax" after a noose was found in his Talladega Superspeedway garage stall last month.
Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2020
Both the FBI and NASCAR confirmed in separate statements that there was a noose in Wallace's garage stall ahead of the Geico 500, though the investigation concluded that the noose had been in place since at least last fall and was not targeting Wallace. A crew member of the No. 43 team first saw the noose and reported it, not Wallace, and NASCAR made it clear Wallace and his team had "nothing to do with this."
In addition to those factual inaccuracies, Trump also incorrectly claimed that NASCAR TV ratings had plummeted after the noose incident and NASCAR's ban of the Confederate flag when they have been up since the sport returned following a brief hiatus.
Wallace addressed the tweet, saying, "All the haters are doing is elevating your voice and platform to much greater heights."
"Your words and actions will always be held to a higher standard than others. You have to be prepared for that. You don't learn these things in school. You learn them from trials and tribulations, the ups and downs this crazy world provides. You will always have people testing you. Seeing if they can knock you off your pedestal. I encourage you to keep your head held high and walk proudly on the path you have chosen. Never let anybody tell you [that you] can't do something! God put us all here for a reason. Find that reason and be proud of it and work your tails off every day towards it! All the haters are doing is elevating your voice and platform to much greater heights!
"Last thing, always deal with the hate being thrown at you with LOVE! Love over hate every day. Love should come naturally as people are TAUGHT to hate.
"Even when it's HATE from the POTUS.
NASCAR reaffirmed its support for Wallace on Twitter and issued its own statement Monday afternoon.
"We are proud to have Bubba Wallace in the NASCAR family and we commend his courage and leadership," the statement read. "NASCAR continues to stand tall with Bubba, our competitors and everyone who makes our sport welcoming and inclusive for all racing fans."
Richard Petty Motorsports co-owner Andrew Murstein also issued a statement defending Wallace.
"I find it hard to believe that the President would send out such a misinformed tweet," Murstein said (via Fox Sports' Bob Pockrass). "Perhaps one of his staff did it without his knowledge or he doesn't know the facts. After all of the information that has come out regarding the noose incident, such a late, misinformed and factually incorrect statement seems completely unwarranted, especially after the photo came out.
"I could of course go on and on, but a picture is worth a thousand words. Bubba has reacted in a truthful, professional, level headed and positive manner. The NASCAR community, and those in the know all stand by him."