Badgers fan's 'repugnant' Obama noose costume causes furor

A University of Wisconsin Badgers fan caused a stir on Saturday when he wore a President Obama mask with a noose around his neck.
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A University of Wisconsin Badgers fan caused a stir on Saturday when he wore a President Obama mask with a noose around his neck.

The fan, who was also wearing a prisoner costume, was spotted by a nearby spectator at the Badgers' Saturday win over Nebraska in Madison, which caused a furor after she took a picture and shared it on social media.

Her picture was shared more than 5,500 times on Twitter.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison issued a statement, saying its guest services staff were sent to the area of the stadium once they had been made aware of the "highly insensitive and offensive costume."

The U said it has a policy saying spectators cannot wear a mask as they enter the stadium, but can once they were inside.

While "repugnant," the U said the fan was exercising his right to free speech and as such he could not be removed from the stadium, as some online commenters were suggesting should happen.

Instead, university staff exercised their own right to free speech by asking him to remove it, which he did.

The U's stance was backed by campus police chief Sue Riseling, who tweeted the following:

The Star Tribune reports that Saturday's game was the UW-Madison's annual "Freak Fest," where Badgers fans attend in Halloween costumes.

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