Iowa Athletics issues statement on fan interaction with Wisconsin wrestler

Badger 149-pounder Austin Gomez said fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena hurled racist commentary his way after he beat Iowa’s Vince Turk Saturday afternoon.

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Jerod Ringwald

Wisconsin’s 149-pound Austin Gomez celebrates his victory over Iowa’s Vince Turk during a wrestling meet between No. 2 Iowa and No. 9 Wisconsin in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. Gomez defeated Turk by decision, 3-2. The Hawkeyes defeated the Badgers, 29-6.

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor


Wisconsin men’s wrestler Austin Gomez was greeted with a blend of boos and jeers as he headed for Carver-Hawkeye Arena’s tunnel Saturday afternoon. The 149-pounder had just defeated Iowa’s Vince Turk, 3-2.

Gomez said one particular Hawkeye fan directed racist remarks at him as he exited the mat. Following Iowa’s 29-6 team win over Wisconsin, Gomez tweeted that he is “living rent-free in the heads of Iowa fans.”

Gomez’s parents also took to social media after the dual to describe what the fan said to their son. Gomez’s father, Hector, said some derogatory language was hurled his way too.

Iowa Athletics issued the following statement on the matter on Monday:

“The Iowa Athletics Department was made aware of a situation that occurred on Saturday during our wrestling match at Carver-Hawkeye Arena against the University of Wisconsin. One of Wisconsin’s student-athletes reported a fan in the stands yelling racially insensitive remarks directed at he and his family. The University of Iowa denounces any act of hatred and is committed to providing a safe and equitable environment.

“Iowa’s Athletic Administration has reached out to Wisconsin, and the student-athlete, to apologize for the incident and to let them know we are following up on this matter. Any individual found in violation of our fan behavior policy is subject to being banned from attending future Hawkeye athletic events.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates throughout the week.

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