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FBI says Bubba Wallace not the victim of hate crime; noose had been in garage since last year
via frankieOz / Twitter

UPDATE: An FBI investigation has revealed that a rope fashioned like a noose was simply being used to prop open a door inside the Talladega garage where Bubba Wallace's NASCAR team was recently assigned. In fact, video and photographic evidence revealed that the noose has been positioned in such a way as late as last fall.

"The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall," NASCAR said in its statement. "This was obviously well before the 43 team's arrival and garage assignment.

ESPN broke the news Tuesday afternoon, which came after a huge outpouring of support for Wallace from all corners of professional sports around the world. Wallace, NASCAR's only black driver, has been at the center of the sport's decision to ban Confederate flags from race cars and its arenas.

"We appreciate the FBI's quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba," NASCAR added in their statement. "We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing."

Original story begins below.

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NASCAR's Bubba Wallace took a bold stance two weeks ago by pushing the sport to ban the Confederate flag from its events.

Just two days later, NASCAR released a statement announcing the ban, saying that: "The presence of the Confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry."

Wallace is the only full-time black driver in NASCAR's top circuit. He drives the No. 43 car with Richard Petty Motorsports.



Wallace's bravery was challenged by an extremely cowardly and racist act on Sunday when a noose was hung in his garage at the Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. There were also many Confederate flags flown outside of the raceway in protest of NASCAR's ban.

Fortunately, according to ESPN, a member of Wallace's team found the noose before Wallace and quickly notified NASCAR authorities.

The incident prompted a stern response from NASCAR.

"Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team. We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act," NASCAR said in a statement. "We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport."

"As we have stated unequivocally, there is no place for racism in NASCAR, and this act only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all."

Wallace knew there was going to be a backlash to his push to have the flags removed but that didn't stop him from speaking out. "There's going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly but it's time for change," he said.

Athletes from across the world of American sports have come together to support Wallace in the aftermath of the ugly incident. Many of NASCAR's biggest names apoke out on Twitter.




Los Angeles Laker LeBron James, arguably the most popular athlete in America, also sent a message of support for Wallace, calling the incident "Sickening!"

Athletes from the NFL, PGA Tour and even the WWE, sent their support as well.




Wallace has no intention of letting the incident stop his attempts to eliminate racism from the sport.

"Together, our sport has made a commitment to driving real change and championing a community that is accepting and welcoming of everyone," he said in a statement. "Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate.

"As my mother told me today, 'They are just trying to scare you,'" he said. "This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in."

In a show of solidarity on Monday, NASCAR drivers and crews pushed Wallace's car to the front of the grid at Talladega before the race.

via FIRST

FIRST students compete in a robotics challenge.

True

Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

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1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Marlon Brando on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1973.

Marlon Brando made one of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in 1972 after playing the iconic role of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” The venerable actor's career had been on a decline for years after a series of flops and increasingly unruly behavior on set.

Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist, dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

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The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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