The University of Wisconsin have decided to prohibit nooses and ropes from home athletic events after a fan wore a President Barack Obama mask with a noose around its neck to the Oct. 29 football game against Nebraska.
The university’s athletics department announced today that standards for fans were changed and will be in effect this weekend.
“What happened at Camp Randall two weeks ago goes against everything we stand for,” UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said. “I am very pleased that we all were able to work together to improve our policies. I greatly appreciate the collaborative spirit of our meetings with leaders in our community. It is great to be able to talk, and even more satisfying that we took action.”
Specifically, items prohibited in athletics facilities will now include nooses and ropes, which will be treated as weapons that constitute a threat to safety (as will replicas of weapons). In addition, policies will be revised to read:
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. Any spectator carrying a prohibited item may be refused admittance or may be ejected from the venue.
It was very disheartening and disappointing that a fan was allowed to carry these items in the stadium and was allowed to remain inside the stadium. Even though the fan took the items off when ordered to, that fan should have been removed from the stadium.
Although people have freedom of speech, there should be no tolerance for hate speech anywhere, especially at a sporting event with a diverse crowd.