University of Wis. Says Fan in Obama Noose Costume Exercising ‘Free Speech’

Fan at University of Wisconsin-vs.-Nebraska game Oct. 29, 2016, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Twitter Screenshot

After Saturday’s football game in which a fan of the University of Wisconsin-Madison showed up in an Obama costume with a noose tied around its neck, the school released a statement calling the racist outfit “repugnant” but saying that it “was an exercise of the individual’s right to free speech.”

Someone at the game snapped a pic of the historically offensive and arguably violent getup—that of our first black president with a noose around his neck—and posted it to Twitter, where it immediately went viral. Later that day, UW officials released a statement giving the school's side of events, saying that guest services were called and the fan was asked “to remove the offensive components of the costume.” He apparently complied.


The university says that the man was exercising his right to free speech and it, too, exercised its rights not by asking him to leave but by asking him to remove the “offensive parts of the costume” (meaning the noose?).

Here’s the statement in full:

We wonder what would have happened if he didn’t comply.

Share This Story