Wisconsin toughens stadium policy after racist Obama costume at football game

Thursday November 10th, 2016

The University of Wisconsin announced policy changes to crack down on disorderly and threatening conduct at athletic events, following an incident at a Badgers football game involving offensive, racist fan costume.

A fan was allowed into the stadium for an Oct. 29 game against Nebraska and donned a mask depicting president Barack Obama with a noose around his neck, in conjunction with another fan who wore a similar costume with a Hillary Clinton mask. The university initially defended the fans’ right to free speech with a tone-deaf statement that angered many, including the school’s community of black student-athletes.

After revoking the fans’ season tickets, Wisconsin made the policy changes on Wednesday, which include the prohibition of any nooses and ropes into the stadium along with replicas of weapons. The statement decried racist behavior and allowed a broader interpretation of what behavior could warrant ejection from the school’s venues, which read as follows:

Any person who engages in violent, threatening, abusive or otherwise disorderly conduct which tends to provoke a disturbance or incite violence will be ejected from our events. Threats include statements, actions and behaviors that could reasonably be foreseen as having a purpose to inflict physical harm, even if the person making the threat doesn't have the ability to carry out the threat. Disorderly conduct does not require that a disruption actually occur.

The Badgers host Illinois on Saturday.


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