“[Michael Jordan] Fire Him” – Bubba Wallace Left Fuming After Being Blamed for Nearly Taking Out His Own Photographer

Published 02/17/2024, 10:29 AM EST

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It’s no secret that Bubba Wallace has long been a target of manufactured hate from some of the community members, but this time around, things might have gone too far out of reach to even make sense. While Wallace would have perhaps reacted to such hate differently during the off-season and after last year’s result, this time around, the 23XI Racer pulled no punches against the few haters who had created a big deal out of a seemingly innocent incident.

What was meant to be a funny prank turned into quite a debate on X. With the Great American Race right just around the corner, the Daytona Speedweek up to this point has delivered action on all fronts. From Ryan Blaney’s frustrating wreck in the Cup Series to Gus Dean’s controversial ARCA win, many accusations are flying around due to the chaos that ensued. But the hate Bubba Wallace seemed to be getting for a light-hearted prank he played on his own photographer is what took the entire NASCAR community by surprise.

Bubba Wallace silences haters after playful prank with photographer goes ‘wrong’


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The Bluegreen Vacations duel was far from eventful for Wallace, who finished a race filled with carnage in P24. With the starting order of the field set for the Daytona 500, the 23XI racer pulled into the pits to park his #23 McDonald’s Toyota Camry XSE. At this moment, Wallace’s photographer, Nico Banda, was right at the pit entry waiting to click photos when the 23XI driver decided to give him a friendly wake-up call.

Bubba’s certainly played it a little fast and loose with that left turn. The #23 pulled into the pits and gently swerved toward Banda, sending the photographer back a few steps out of fear of getting run over. While the distance between the #23 and Banda was far apart enough for comfort, some fans didn’t take too well to Wallace’s prank.

Soon enough, the video made its way to Wallace’s X feed, prompting the 23XI driver to give these haters a piece of his mind. Channeling his sarcastic wit, Wallace stated, “OMG buBbA AtTemPtEd tO kILl HiS oWn PhOTogRaPhER anddd!!!! ASsaUlTeD aNoThEr DrIveR!!! MJ Fire Himmm!!!!!”

With over 2.6k likes, the video posted on X gained the entire community’s attention, and while most fans were in support of Wallace for just pulling off a lighthearted joke, the haters wasted no time in pointing out that Wallace should be reprimanded for his actions.

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This time around, Bubba Wallace dialed the heat right back up on his haters, silencing them with one of the funniest comebacks in recent memory. After all, does the legendary Michael Jordan have time to be bothered with something so minute? A majority of the community certainly wasn’t, commending Wallace for standing up to the unnecessary hate. But what exactly were the accusations thrown at Wallace?

Fans who were unimpressed vent against Bubba Wallace


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A user stated, “If @KyleBusch did this, people would be screaming for him to be suspended.” Meanwhile, another was equally displeased with Wallace’s actions – “Goofing off with a camera guy.” Some even went as far as to paint Wallace as a villain for the same:This dude is evil.”

On the other hand, Wallace’s photographer himself added a sarcastic take on the incident. “I guess my photos aren’t good enough because Bubba tried killing me today.” Unfortunately, the attacks at Wallace didn’t stop. A user continued to state, “What a clown” while others wanted the officials to step in – “@NASCAR you need to look at this. Action is needed.”

While a fan tried to be the voice of reason; “It’s his own photographer lol”, it seemed like the Wallace hate train had no end. Users continued to speculate; “Does that make it okay to do that?” Some even brought the matter to insiders, “Hey @bobpockrass any penalty or fine or anything? Others have been for much less.”


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With all that said, a majority of the community stood behind Wallace and asked such fans to dial it down. After all, it was just an innocent prank that both sides seemed to be okay with.


Written by:

Kabir Bajaj Ahmed


One take at a time

Kabir Bajaj Ahmed is an F1 & NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. Known for his storytelling and extensive research skills, he has covered multiple stories on Dale Earnhard Jr and his legendary dad, allowing readers to relive the thunderous days of 'The Intimidator'. Being a racer himself, Kabir can resonate with the motorsport world better than most.
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Edited by:

Rohan Karnad