Two fans in the football stands at the University of Wisconsin at Madison on Saturday wore costumes and a noose to suggest a lynching. One fan dressed as Donald Trump and the other had costumes depicting President Obama and Hillary Clinton. The first fan, using a fake noose, pretended to lynch Obama. Photos of the incident were posted to social media, upsetting many. University police officers asked the fan to remove the noose, which he did.
A statement from the university explained its stance on the incident: "During the first half of this evening's Wisconsin football game against Nebraska, UW officials were made aware that an individual in the seating bowl had donned a highly insensitive and offensive costume. UW Athletics' guest services staff were dispatched to the individual's seating area, where they asked him to remove the offensive components of the costume. He complied. UW Athletics' policy regarding admission into the stadium with a costume stipulate that no one may be wearing a mask upon entering the facility. Once inside, it is permissible to wear a mask. The costume, while repugnant and counter to the values of the university and the Athletic Department, was an exercise of the individual's right to free speech. The university also exercised its rights by asking the individual to remove the offensive parts of the costume. UW Madison is dedicated to promoting a campus environment where all people feel valued, safe and able to thrive. To that end, the university continues to encourage all of our community members to engage in discussion over vital issues in ways that promote greater understanding and respect for all persons."
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