Bronson Harmon is a recent high school graduate from Oakdale, California. A standout wrestler in high school, he was due to go to California Polytechnic Institute in the fall on a wrestling scholarship.
But Harmon’s personal choices will now cost him that free ride at Cal Poly.
The school decided to strip Harmon of participating in their athletic programs after video surfaced featuring Harmon shouting a homophobic slur during a conservative rally in Modesto, CA on June 30th.
You can see the video below:
Also featured in the video are Harmon’s father and several pro-Donald Trump signs. The Harmon family showed up to counter-protest at a Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policies protest.
The video got notice on social media and eventually made it to the administration of Cal Poly.
Hey Bronson Harmon, did you ever hear the phrase, "Your Actions have Consequences"— Kathleen Rummel (@krummel503) July 18, 2018
In the video, Harmon the younger puts up his middle finger and shouts “f**k you, f*ggot” at the videographer when he realizes he is being filmed. The men of the counter-protest can also be heard shouting “send their a**es back!”
While his wrestling scholarship was revoked, Harmon’s admission has not been. That’s not sitting well with some online and at Cal Poly.
@CalPoly You are still going to allow a wrestler to attend your school (but only revoke his sports scholarship so you don’t get negative attention to your athletics) even though that student (Bronson Harmon) is a racist who is being investigated by the local DA for assault? pic.twitter.com/1UlFVO9uNa— Nick (@nick_forcier) July 18, 2018
#bronsonharmon "freedom of speech" literally means your government cannot jail you for speaking. It does not mean there are no consequences, welcome to consequences bigot!— KJ Activist (@kjactivist) July 18, 2018
Having a “violently homophobic racist” on campus is unsafe for LGBTQ+ students and students of color, states the Cal Poly LGBTQ+ student union.
And while Harmon issued an apology, claiming he was caught up in the moment which makes Harmon yell homophobic slurs, not everyone is buying it.
“I totally regret it,” Bronson Harmon told The Tribune.
“I got caught up in the heat of the moment. I was there to peacefully protest the things that we believe, and people were harassing us, spitting on us and calling us Nazis.”
The video and witnesses not involved in the protest don’t back Harmon’s claims of being spit on.
That Bronson Harmon kid is only apologizing because he lost his free ride. Don’t get fooled, it’s an empty apology. He didn’t get “caught up in the moment” he simply got caught. So for being called a Nazi.. if the Nazi Salute fits.— Julieeeee (@GiullianaMaria) July 20, 2018
The decision not to rescind Harmon’s offer to matriculate is more controversy for the school.
The wrestler, Bronson Harmon, was filmed carrying a Trump sign and gives the finger to Abdul Lasaing, who was filming the pro-Trump marchers. As Harmon passes, he flips the bird and says “f**k you faggot.” Harmon was marching with his father and a friend. https://t.co/TY4NvuIx0J— P A T • L E E (@pat_lee) July 18, 2018
However the Harmon family claims it is the teenage wrestler who has been wronged. They state his right to Freedom of Speech was infringed and state they plan to file a lawsuit. Prior cases though have sided with the defendant as Freedom of Speech is not Freedom from consequences.
Bronson Harmon’s father says they are hiring a lawyer because maybe this is a free speech issue? Lol buddy, Bronson, my dude, a for-profit college can 100% revoke your acceptance to the wrestling team. But you’ll be happy to know bakers can also not bake gay cakes https://t.co/OYTvFR47df— Caroline Moss (@socarolinesays) July 20, 2018
Bronson Harmon says his free speech rights were violated when his #CalPoly scholarship was revoked. He's too stupid to go to college. Still waiting for a rightwinger who understands the 1st (or 2nd) Amendment. At least he outed himself as a white supremacist. https://t.co/0KdgRFB1ej— (((RootForBlue))) (@RootForBlue) July 19, 2018
The man who took the video recounted his side of the story which differs from the Harmon family’s, but matches the video.
“I not once said anything to these guys I was just walking,” Abdul Lasaing stated.
“I’m not sure if I was disrespected for my skin color or my ‘World Peace’ sign. I was shocked.”
#bronsonharmon— Noah Douglas Webb (@Noahdwebb) July 21, 2018
Real quick. I heard this poor kid say his freedom of speech was taken away. If that was so, none of us could have heard his vile utterances or seen his expression. What makes him uncomfortable is the lack of freedom from consequence he’s suddenly faced with now.
Bronson Harmon...Your freedom of speech was taken away? No, it wasn’t...you said what you wanted to say. There are consequences for everything that we say and do. It’s part of life and if you haven’t accepted that you aren’t ready for college anyway. https://t.co/X4JYcDPtRq— Ava M. Tapia (@avamtapia) July 21, 2018
Bigot #BronsonHarmon decided spewing anti-LGBTQ comments & flipping the bird were the correct things to do.— PSM DEM GARY (@GaryPSM) July 20, 2018
He lost his wrestling scholarship at Cal Poly.
Though I cannot imagine how @CalPoly would allow this kind of hate on their campus
Why are you letting this bigot on campus? pic.twitter.com/SJN15HA7C8
Proof that racism is taught. Cal Poly pulls scholarship from student after hate video with his father surfaced. However, #BronsonHarmon also wasn’t taught that freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom of consequences from said (HATE) speech. https://t.co/pW9OdLr63U— Darren Shiroma (@DarrenShiroma) July 19, 2018
Just another day of spending 'quality time' with Daddy, spewing hatred & homophobic slurs. ?? Hey, #bronsonharmon , how's that working for you?!?— Lisa (@ldstep) July 20, 2018
Bronson Harmon freely said what he wished and the government did not infringe on his rights as guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
But now he must face the consequences of his words.