Athletes at the University of Wisconsin took to social media Monday night, and posted a statement demanding that the school address what they perceive as racial inequalities on campus. The impetus for the statement stems from an incident on October 29 when two fans wore a mask depicting President Obama, and a noose, at a football game.
The statement enjoys the support of well over 20 black student-athletes. In part, the statement reads, “It is painful that someone in our community would show up to an athletic event with a mask of our sitting president, who happens to look a lot like us, with a noose around his neck. That moment was like a punch in the face to not only student-athletes of color, but also current students, faculty and alumni of color. This incident was yet another blow and reminder that there are people in this community that may not value diverse populations.”
Wisconsin basketball star Nigel Hayes tweeted the full statement:
— Nigel Hayes (@NIGEL_HAYES) November 8, 2016
As we reported when this incident occurred, stadium officials did not allow the fans into the stadium wearing an Obama mask and noose. The stadium, Camp Randall, enforces a strict policy that prevents the wearing of masks while entering the stadium. Fans can only wear them after they enter.
Stadium officials approached the fans after they found out about the costume and the fans immediately removed the mask and noose, then left the stadium soon after.
If so viscerally wounded by the offensive nature of what happened that night, why did it take these athletes nine days before releasing a statement? Perhaps nine days has become the accepted turnaround time for Deray McKesson and his Black Lives Matters cronies to transform self-consumed college athletes into social justice warriors.
This incident highlights more than anything how there’s no appeasing the race-mob on college campuses. The University of Wisconsin did everything right. In fact, the same day the athletes released their statement, the university indefinitely revoked the season tickets of the two people involved with the Obama costume.
So to recap, the university told the fans to remove the costume, which they did. The fans eventually left, the university took away their season tickets, and yet, the athletes still make “demands.” Demands they would surely still make if the clocks rewound about eight years, and President Bush’s head was the one in the noose, right?
More than likely what really offended the athletes-turned-activists, and caused them to launch this belated protest, is the fact that the university chose to remind them of an inconvenient truth about this incident.
When Wisconsin issued their initial statement they made clear it that while they found the costume depicting Obama offensive, they also recognized the free speech rights of those wearing the costume. And of course, which inalienable right must any aspiring mob of totalitarians crush immediately if they wish to remake the country in their own image? Free speech.
So what truly offends these great pretenders of democracy and tolerance has nothing to do with racism. What truly offends them is the fact that you have the right to say anything of which they do not approve.
Well, at least we used to have that right.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn