Iowa coach denounces alleged racist incident aimed at Wisconsin wrestler

“No place, no room anywhere for what happened on Saturday.” Iowa wrestling head coach Tom...
“No place, no room anywhere for what happened on Saturday.” Iowa wrestling head coach Tom Brands responds to alleged racist incident dual meet
Published: Feb. 11, 2022 at 1:37 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands stood firmly against Saturday’s alleged incident.

“There is no tolerance, no place, no room anywhere for what happened on Saturday,” Brands said Wednesday afternoon.

After Wisconsin’s Austin Gomez beat Iowa’s Vince Turk at the Saturday dual meet, Hawkeye fans booed their opponent. But Gomez said a fan crossed the line and used a “racial word” towards him. He also said fans were cussing at his mother and teenaged sister.

“No athlete no parent no opposing fans should have to go through what he went through ever anywhere,” Brands said.

Brands encourages a loud environment at Carver Hawkeye Arena, but he said he’s never seen or heard behavior like Gomez describes.

“This is front and center on our mind,” Brands said. “When and if we find those fans, those penalties will be stiff for them.”

He said he’s spoken with the team about the incident, and the issue of racial equity matters in his program and beyond.

“This world has a lot of work to do on social injustice issues, and that work is important on our campus, in our athletic department, in our wrestling program, (and) it’s important to me,” Brands said. “How do you do that work? We do that work by listening, you have difficult conversations, and you listen some more.”

Earlier this week, both Wisconsin and Iowa released statements denouncing the incident. The Iowa Athletics department is continuing an investigation.

In the statement, the Iowa Athletics Department said, “Any individual found in violation of our fan behavior policy is subject to being banned from attending future Hawkeye Athletic Events.”

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