*NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace stars in a powerful and provocative new spot from Root Insurance, in which he addresses Donald Trump’s demand that he apologize over the noose controversial.
Back in June, NASCAR notified Wallace that a noose was found hanging in his garage stall at the Talladega Superspeedway.
After an investigation into the incident, the FBI declined to file any hate crime federal charges.
According to a statement from U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, the noose had been in the garage since last fall, per USA Today.
Wallace “was not the target of a hate crime,” NASCAR said in a statement.
“There is no place in our sport for this type of racism and hatred,” said NASCAR President Steve Phelps in a press call with media at the time. “It’s not who we are as a sport.”
President Trump called the incident a “hoax” and demanded Bubba apologize for it.
“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!,” Trump tweeted.
In the Root commercial, directed by Wesley Walker for Tool of North America, Bubba walks through a crowd of reporters who ask him for the apology and he staunchly refuses.
Scroll up and watch the ad via the YouTube player above.
According to a press release, Root partnered with Wallace (who recently signed with the newly formed Michael Jordan racing team) and Tool of North America with director Wesley Walker as creative lead, to tell his story and share his conviction for unapologetic societal change.
“Root Insurance is doing what is right and making insurance more fair, and I will be proud to drive a car with their colors next season,” said Wallace. “I stand firmly with the goal of eliminating bias from insurance, and I truly believe we can work together to help make the world a better place.”
“Getting to know Bubba Wallace and what he stands for made this partnership one that we couldn’t pass up,” said Alex Timm, Root Co-Founder and CEO. “He is dedicated to standing up for what is right, even when it involves facing adversity. Root was created to make car insurance more fair, standing up against the established industry that priced more on demographics than driving behavior. We are proud to support Bubba Wallace.”