Cal Poly Athletics pulled a wrestling scholarship from committed Cal Poly kinesiology freshman Bronson Harmon after he was caught yelling a homophobic slur at a Families Belong Together protest June 30 in Modesto, California.
The same student was allegedly involved in shoving a man against a tree later that day. A complaint has been filed with the Modesto Police Department
Harmon declined an interview, citing harassment and threats his family received and apologized for what he said.
“My family and I have been harassed and threatened. I’m sorry if I offended anyone,” Harmon wrote to Mustang News. He still plans to attend Cal Poly in the fall.
Cal Poly’s Director of Athletics Don Oberhelman declined to comment. Oberhelman has been with Cal Poly since 2011 and created the Mustang Way, emphasizing leading by example, accepting responsibility, and creating an atmosphere of mutual respect for all athletes.
The only comment Cal Poly provided was that Harmon will not be a member of Cal Poly Wrestling, that he signed a National Letter of Intent to Cal Poly in November, and that they could not comment on his scholarship or status as a student due to federal and state privacy laws.
Police clerk Abdul Lasaing was walking with Family Belong Together protesters after the march ended when he approached the counter-protest group Harmon was part of. Lasaing said he heard them shouting “Send them back,” and several racial slurs, so he began recording.
When Harmon saw Lasaing filming, he yelled a homophobic slur in response and flashed his middle finger. Harmon was carrying a Trump 2016 sign.
“I’m not sure if I was disrespected because of my skin tone or my world peace sign,” Lasaing wrote to Mustang News.
The original video has more than 44,000 views on Facebook.
Later, Harmon’s group shoved a 60-year-old man against a tree and caused bleeding from his arm, according to Modesto resident Yesi Moreno, who approached the man after the incident. The man told Moreno he was removing a screwdriver from behind a truck, which Harmon mistook as trying to pop their tire.
Moreno followed the group after they pushed a woman earlier in an attempt to make them leave the march.
“I saw them push a girl, and you know, that’s the only reason I would act that way,” Moreno said.
“It’s not even about being a Trump supporter, it’s about your actions and what you did at this Families Belong Together event,” Moreno said.
Harmon’s friend, who attended the counter-protest with him, apologized to Moreno for pushing up against her.