A photo of fans at a University of Wisconsin football game -- one wearing a costume of President Barack Obama with a noose around his neck -- has gone viral.
The incident was reported Oct. 29 during the school’s football game against Nebraska, CBS News reported. A photo of a fan wearing a black-and-white jumpsuit, an Obama mask and a noose around his neck began circulating throughout social media.
“At the @UWBadgers game and there is a man with a mask of President Obama and a noose,” wrote Twitter user @Woahohkatie. “This is racism, why was this allowed into the stadium?”
“There is a man in a very racist costume with an Obama mask and noose around his neck,” a student reported during the first half of the football game. “Racism should NEVER be tolerated.”
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The University of Wisconsin Twitter profile responded to several outraged Twitter users by saying, “We don't support offensive image of a noose, but is a form of free speech. Guest Services asked them to remove & they did.”
The school issued the following statement regarding the incident, as seen on USA Today:
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.
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UW Athletics' guest services staff were dispatched to the individuals' seating area where they asked him to remove the offensive components of the costume. He complied.
The statement went on to say that the costume, “while repugnant and counter to the values of the university and athletic department, was an exercise of the individual’s right to free speech.”
It is unclear what exact part of the costume the fan was asked to remove. A video of the fans leaving the stadium showed that the Obama costume was still on. However, this time, there was also one person dressed as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and another as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who was holding the end of a noose tied around Clinton’s neck.