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U.S. Men’s Olympic Fencing Team Dons Pink Masks in Protest of Teammate Alen Hadzic

Members of the U.S. males’s Olympic fencing staff took a decisive stand in opposition to one in all their very own Friday, sporting pink face masks Friday in protest of a teammate accused of sexual misconduct being allowed to take part within the Tokyo video games.

Alen Hadzic, an alternate, was the lone man in a black masks as he stood beside his teammates Jake Hoyle, Curtis McDowald, and Yeisser Ramirez earlier than the épée staff confronted off in opposition to Japan.

The 29-year-old stated he was outraged together with his teammates over their protest of him, telling USA Today Sports that he confronted Hoyle and Ramirez. Hadzic stated he requested to put on a pink masks earlier than he realized what his teammates have been doing.

“I simply keep in mind considering it might be sort of foolish if I stood on the market with a black masks and I requested them if that they had an additional (pink) one, and so they go, ‘Oh, no,’” he stated.

“I simply instructed [Hoyle] I used to be frankly embarrassed to be his teammate,” Hadzic stated. “I used to be embarrassed to face up there with him.” He stated he “chewed” Ramirez out, saying “I instructed him it wasn’t cool.” Ramirez later shared on his Instagram story a post praising the men’s fencing team.

The 29-year-old was accused of sexual misconduct by three girls in incidents that befell between 2013 and 2015. Throughout his time at Columbia College, he was suspended from campus for a 12 months because of a Title IX investigation into claims that he sexually abused one other fencer throughout a celebration, according to a Buzzfeed News report. He was additionally expelled from fencing on the college.

Hadzic, who has additionally been accused of violent conduct, has repeatedly denied the accusations, calling them “untruths.”

“They by no means requested me for my aspect of the story,” Hadzic complained of his teammates. “They by no means requested for proof or how I felt.”

Hadzic’s participation within the Olympics has been extremely controversial, starting when he made the U.S. males’s staff in Might. USA Fencing had to disable its Instagram comments on a publish asserting his qualification when his former teammates started to slam the group.

Former Columbia College fencing captain Katie Angen wrote that it was “disgusting” that “US fencing let’s [sic] somebody who actively preys on drunk and sober girls characterize our nation.”

Taking issues into her personal fingers, Angen and two different girls made a proper grievance in opposition to Hadzic to the U.S. Heart for SafeSport, an unbiased company created in 2017 to make sure the security of Olympic athletes from sexual or bodily abuse. Because of their complaints, SafeSport briefly suspended Hadzic in June.

However he appealed the choice, and an arbitrator overturned it later that month. The arbitrator decided a suspension was “inappropriate to the allegations” and claimed Hadzic representing the nation wouldn’t be “detrimental to the fame of the USA or his sport.”

Because of this, USA Fencing created a extensively slammed “security plan” to maintain Hadzic at bay from different athletes. The fencer was flown out to Tokyo on a separate airplane from the remainder of the staff, isn’t allowed to remain within the Olympic Village, and may’t apply in the identical space as the ladies’s staff.

Hadzic additionally tried to attraction these restrictions however was denied after each the U.S. males’s and ladies’s fencing groups submitted a letter demanding for the security plan be enforced.

Though the U.S. males’s fencing staff’s time is over in Tokyo after dropping the match to Japan and taking home ninth place, folks nonetheless need solutions over how Hadzic was ever allowed to qualify for the Olympics.

“I hope that every one the reporters/members of the fencing neighborhood/members of the general public who’re celebrating the lads’s epee staff sporting pink masks don’t deal with this because the completely happy, feel-good ending to this story,” Jackie Dubrovich, a member of the U.S. women’s fencing team, wrote in an scathing Instagram story.

“Alen was nonetheless allowed to affix the staff. He hasn’t been held accountable. And there’s been no accountability for the folks/programs that enabled him. US Fencing hasn’t given a believable clarification for his or her claimed ignorance about his predatory and violent conduct, which spanned nearly a decade.”

Dubrovich then demanded to know who amongst Hadzic’s coaches and teammates knew about his alleged conduct and “turned an eye fixed.”

“I hope that we don’t get too caught up within the heat and fuzzies of symbolic gestures that we overlook to ask these questions,” she added. “Performative activism doesn’t deal with the difficulty at hand. The folks/programs who enabled and guarded a violent predator should not being held accountable. Feminine athletes weren’t protected, and our security was deemed unimportant. It’s time we get some solutions and accountability.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/us-mens-olympic-fencing-team-dons-pink-masks-in-protest-of-teammate-alen-hadzic?supply=articles&by way of=rss | U.S. Males’s Olympic Fencing Staff Dons Pink Masks in Protest of Teammate Alen Hadzic

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