University of Iowa investigating racial slur allegedly yelled at Wisconsin wrestler by Iowa fan

Cody Goodwin
Hawk Central

The University of Iowa athletics department announced Monday that it is investigating reports that a racial slur was directed at a Wisconsin wrestler during Iowa's home dual meet against the Badgers on Saturday.

Frances Gomez, the mother of Wisconsin wrestler Austin Gomez, wrote on Twitter Saturday afternoon that an Iowa fan directed a racial slur toward Gomez, who is Mexican-American.

Iowa released a statement Monday denouncing the act, apologizing to Wisconsin and Gomez, and saying it plans to investigate the matter:

"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."

Gomez, a former Iowa State wrestler who transferred to Wisconsin this offseason, won his match on Saturday, 3-2 over Vince Turk at 149 pounds. The Hawkeyes won the dual, 29-6.

More:On Senior Day, the Iowa wrestling team thumps Wisconsin, 29-6, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena

Monday evening, Gomez posted a statement on his personal Twitter account, offering his own account of what happened on Saturday. He said slurs also were directed at his family and that his mother said that she and his 16-year-old sister, who were sitting behind the Wisconsin bench, were cursed at.

Gomez said he had been contacted by Iowa officials and that a phone call between both parties was set for Tuesday.

"Growing up I watched duals that took place in (Carver-Hawkeye Arena) and loved everything about them," Gomez wrote. "I used to dream of wrestling in CHA and I still love to compete in CHA. Iowa fans are some of the most loyal and passionate fans in the country who will back their team no matter what and I love that.

"But there comes a time where certain fans (not all fans) cross a line that doesn't need to be crossed," he added. "Hopefully there is action taken so other student-athletes and families don't have to have the same experience in the future."

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.