The Wisconsin athletics department has adjusted policies and fan expectations in response to a fan wearing a Barack Obama mask while wearing a noose during the Oct. 29 game against Nebraska.
Wisconsin announced Wednesday that nooses and ropes are prohibited from being brought into athletics facilities. Any fans trying to “provoke a disturbance” or “incite violence” will also be ejected from games. The news comes only one week after Badgers Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez promised policy changes.
From Wisconsin’s press release:
CHANGES TO FAN BEHAVIOR, CARRY-IN AND TICKET POLICIES
Effective immediately, the following changes are made to existing policies:
- Items prohibited from our facilities include nooses and ropes because they are weapons and they constitute a threat to safety, as do replicas of weapons.
- 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.
- The University of Wisconsin and the Big Ten Conference promote good sportsmanship, appropriate fan behavior and a welcoming atmosphere for all fans at all athletic events sponsored by the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. Racist and other offensive behavior is not appropriate for our venues.
- Any spectator carrying a prohibited item may be refused admittance or may be ejected from the venue.
— Wisconsin Badgers (@UWBadgers) November 10, 2016
Earlier this week, Badgers men’s basketball player Nigel Hayes and other Wisconsin athletes shared a statement speaking out against racial injustice. Alvarez and the university have expressed their support of the athletes.
No. 7 Wisconsin has a home football game this Saturday against Illinois. The game is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff on ESPN2.