Cal Poly wrestler loses scholarship over slur at immigration protest

Bronson Harmon

An incoming freshman on Cal Poly’s wrestling team lost his scholarship after he was filmed screaming an anti-gay slur during a feud between opposing sides at a protest over immigration policy. [Tribune]

During the June 30 incident, Bronson Harmon screamed “Fuck you, faggot,” at a demonstrator or demonstrators at the “Families Belong Together March” in Modesto. Harmon was part of a group of counter-protesters, which included his father and a friend.

Harmon’s group was carrying Trump campaign signs, the video footage shows. Harmon’s father can be heard in the video saying, “Send their asses back.”

A Facebook user named Abdul Lasaing posted the video online about two weeks ago. Shortly following the publication of the video, Cal Poly Athletic Director Don Oberhelman made the decision to revoke Harmon’s scholarship.

Harmon is a recent graduate of Oakdale High School in Oakdale, located northwest of Modesto. He was a CIF state medalist as a high school wrestler.

In an interview with the Tribune, Harmon said that what he said was definitely not the right thing and that he should have been helping the community and representing his college to the best of his ability. However, Harmon said he still feels like his freedom of speech was taken away, and he does not think his scholarship should have been revoked.

Harmon said he got caught up in the heat of the moment. He said he was there to peacefully protest, and people were harassing him and his fellow counter-protesters, spitting on them and calling them Nazis.

Following the slur, Harmon was allegedly involved in a separate incident that ended with his group shoving a protester and a complaint being filed with the Modesto Police Department.

Despite losing his scholarship, Harmon said he still plans to attend Cal Poly in the fall. Rather than wrestling for the university’s team, Harmon now plans to focus on becoming a mixed martial arts fighter.