Rebecca Blank, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, on Monday apologized for the way the university responded to an incident last month when two fans at a football game wore costumes and had props depicting the lynching of President Obama (at right). Authorities at the time asked the two fans to stop using the noose, and the fans complied, but many said the university should have done more.
At a Faculty Senate meeting Monday, Blank said the university would have new rules in place before the next football game. Further, she said action had been taken about the incident, hinting that this action involved the fans who brought the noose, although she did not say that explicitly. “I’m limited in how much I can say today, but can announce that we’ve indefinitely revoked the season tickets of a pair of individuals related to this situation,” she said. “We took this action because the person using the tickets brought a prohibited item into the stadium and failed to follow the direction of our event staff.”
Blank also apologized.
“I am personally very sorry for the hurt that this incident and our response to it has caused. I have heard from students, faculty and community members who are dissatisfied with our response, and I understand why,” she said. “A noose is a symbol of some of the worst forms of racial hatred and intimidation in our country’s history. We understand this and we should have communicated this more forcefully from the beginning. A noose displayed in this fashion has no place in Camp Randall.” (Camp Randall is the football stadium.)
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