MADISON -- The University of Wisconsin Department of Athletics is making changes amid outrage after fans were spotted wearing a costume that involved one wearing masks of President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton with a noose around their necks during the Badgers/Nebraska game at Camp Randall on October 29th.
New policies will take effect this Veterans Day weekend.
According to a statement from UW Athletics officials, the changes were made following productive meetings between UW Athletics staff and several community leaders.
"What happened at Camp Randall two weeks ago goes against everything we stand for," UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said in the statement. "I am very pleased that we all were able to work together to improve our policies. I greatly appreciate the collaborative spirit of our meetings with leaders in our community. It is great to be able to talk, and even more satisfying that we took action."
Items prohibited in athletics facilities at UW will now include nooses and ropes, which will be treated as weapons that constitute a threat to safety (as will replicas of weapons).
In addition, policies will be revised to read:
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. Any spectator carrying a prohibited item may be refused admittance or may be ejected from the venue.
It will further be reiterated that UW Athletics promotes a welcoming atmosphere in its venues and that disrespectful conduct toward others may lead to ejection from the venue. Racist and other offensive behavior is not appropriate for our venues.
"This policy change is an important step in ensuring that our sporting events are free from offensive conduct that has the potential to create a disturbance," Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in the statement. "I have asked the Office of Legal Affairs to work closely with the Division of Athletics in the next several weeks to review facilities use and other policies to clarify conduct rules at all of our sports facilities. We fully intend to include campus and community stakeholders in that process as well."
The new policies come after two football fans wore a costume that involved one wearing masks of President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton with a noose around their necks.
The other wore a Donald Trump mask and led the first man around by the noose.
The unidentified men wore the costume at the October 29th game against Nebraska.
The Wisconsin State Journal reported (http://bit.ly/2fxqKFS ) that Chancellor Rebecca Blank told the faculty senate the fans' season tickets were revoked because their holder brought in a prohibited item and didn't follow directions from stadium staff.
Security officers asked the men to remove the noose but photos taken later showed they had put the noose back on.
UW-Madison officials were criticized for not kicking the men out.
Wisconsin will host five home athletic events this weekend, including Saturday's Homecoming football game against Illinois.
Below are further details from UW Athletics officials as to the new policies:
CHANGES TO FAN BEHAVIOR, CARRY-IN AND TICKET POLICIES
Effective immediately, the following changes are made to existing policies: