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NASCAR World Lists 900+ Reasons to “Why Does Everyone Hate Bubba Wallace?”

Published 02/29/2024, 3:58 PM EST

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After recovering from two action-packed weekends at back-to-back superspeedways, the Cup Series is finally heading to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a circuit many like Christopher Bell consider the real start of the 2024 season. But for Bubba Wallace, his actions at Sin City during the October race in 2022 still make the blood of many fans boil.

Wallace is no stranger to hatred, with the 23XI Racing driver recently attracting hatred on X after playing a prank on his photographer. But while most of this new hatred seems uncalled for, one curious fan on Reddit wanted to know just what makes NC native such a polarizing figure.

Why does Bubba Wallace get so much hate?

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It’s no secret that Bubba Wallace has been one of the most outspoken critics of discrimination, and while many fans have praised the NC native for his stance, it hasn’t stopped haters from doubling down. Whether it’s Wallace leading the list of the most hated driver polls or becoming the center of controversy for the smallest of incidents, it’s safe to say he hasn’t been able to catch a break for quite some time after his incident with Kyle Larson.

We all know of how Wallace intentionally right-reared Larson, going 180 mph on the straightaway at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. While it wasn’t Wallace’s finest moment, it didn’t truly showcase his character either. Irrespective of which, the hatred has now grown tenfold. But if, for a second, fans can take a step back and unwrap their predispositions, Wallace has done more for not just the NASCAR fandom but the entire community than most drivers in terms of his philanthropy and advocacy.

Speaking of which, one fan with such a mindset was curious to find out why fans hated Wallace, even after all the character development he has showcased. The user stated, “I’ve been a NASCAR fan for most of my life (30 m). So I’m aware of “why” he’s hated. But I feel like if people actually stopped and listened to the guy [they] would realize that he is a good dude that doesn’t just want attention but stood up for what he thought was right.”

While the user seemed aware of Wallace’s on-track shenanigans, his question triggered the fans to go back and forth over why Wallace was hated in the first place. This even led to the Reddit post racking up over 900 comments.

Wallace’s non-fans went from not caring about him to hating him for “right-rearing a fan favorite”

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As the fans began discussing why Bubba Wallace was still seen with eyes of hatred, users who were trackside at races pointed out a moment, which increased the animosity between the fans and Wallace. In 2020, Wallace was at the center of a controversy surrounding a noose in his garage that NASCAR had reported to the FBI, leading many to believe Wallace was uncertain about what went down as the FBI later dismissed it as being a hate crime.

The user stated, “He was cheered before the Talladega incident, oddly enough. The boos are still there, but I promise it isn’t as bad as it was the year or two after dega.” On the other hand, other users kept the reasons limited to his on-track shenanigans. One of them wrote, “There are a lot of people who didn’t like his conduct with Bowman at Charlotte that one year and never really let go of that. And right-rearing a fan favorite on a straightaway is a pretty solid way to get some people who didn’t really care about you beforehand to hate you. And that’s pretty fair.”

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That wasn’t the only incident that unsettled fans, with the biggest one being the time Wallace shoved an unresisting Larson after wrecking him purposely. A user pointed to this race as their reasoning behind disliking Wallace. “Him RR’ing Larson in Vegas is why I don’t care for him. Granted, he seems to have matured since then.”

But that’s where the Wallace supporters stepped in, painting a picture that the haters would not be fond of. One stated, “Most people don’t hate him. It’s just the ones who do happen to be the loudest and most obnoxious, among other things.” Another user also made a mockery out of the whole hatred by sharing, “I hate him because I want to be friends with Ryan Blaney, and it’s just not fair.”

Summing up why Wallace gets hate from a fan’s perspective, this user shared their reasonable opinion. “I’m a Bubba fan, and the reasons that I think are reasonable (i.e., not race-related) are mostly due to his temperament and mental mindset. Of course, I may not see a lot of what others see since Bubba is my driver.”

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All the hatred Bubba Wallace gets still makes little sense, considering these incidents were relatively isolated and happened with many drivers throughout their careers. But do you think the growing hatred will end soon with new fans joining the discussion?

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Written by:

Kabir Bajaj Ahmed

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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 Earnhardt 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:

Ranvijay Singh