BLACK VOICES

Fans Bring Noose-Wearing Obama Mask To Football Game, Sparking Outrage

The University of Wisconsin said "free speech" protected the act, though they asked the fan to remove the costume's "offensive parts."

31/10/2016 4:18 AM IST | Updated 31/10/2016 4:18 AM IST
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Talk about going out of bounds. A pair of football fans showed up to a University of Wisconsin game Saturday with a Barack Obama mask ― and a noose wrapped around its neck.

The person in the Obama mask wore a black and white jailhouse suit. (They later swapped the mask of the president for one of Hillary Clinton mask.) Their companion wore a mask of Donald Trump.

A bystander tweeted a photo of the offensive costume with the words “This is racism, why was this allowed into the stadium?”

According to the university, the fan carrying the noose was asked “to remove the offensive parts” of the costume after it was reported to guest services. But because the fans were exercising their right to free speech, they were not asked to leave.

“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,” the university said in a statement.

The out-of-touch characters were later filmed appearing to exit the stands wearing Trump and Clinton masks.

Many on Twitter were outraged, calling the display a form of hate speech.

Twitter user @woahohkatie, who appeared to be the first to post the photo, later wrote that she and a friend since received “hate tweets” for standing up against the obscene display. Some of the tweets, she wrote, included “people encouraging us to kill ourselves.”

“The internet is a wild and violent place,” she concluded.

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