A high school wrestling star had his college scholarship and team position fully revoked after he was caught shouting a homophobic slur while counter-protesting a Families Belong Together rally in California.
Bronson Harmon, 18, was at the rally with his dad in Modesto on June 30 when he passed a group on the sidewalk and yelled, “F--k you, f----t,” at a young man taking video with his phone.
A spokeswoman for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo confirmed to the Daily News on Thursday that Bronson not only lost his scholarship, he won’t be allowed to wrestle for the school even if he pays his own way.
“Bronson Harmon will not be a member of Cal Poly’s wrestling team,” school spokeswoman Cynthia Lambert said in a statement to The News.
Harmon was holding a “Donald Trump 2016” sign at the time he made the anti-gay slur and also flashed a rude hand gesture at the man recording him.
“I and a group of people were already walking back to our vehicles after the #KeepingTheFamilesTogether march; when I heard a group of men shouting and trying to scare us,” Abdul Lasaing said in the caption to his video posted on Facebook.
“I was flipped off and called a [f—t] ... for either my dark skin color or my #WorldPeaceSign?? Not sure,” he wrote.
Speaking to the San Luis Obispo Tribune, Harmon said he regretted his offensive behavior but didn’t seem to grasp the magnitude of his hate speech.
“Saying what I said is definitely not the right thing. I am supposed to be there to help the community, be the best person I can be and represent the college the best way I can. But I still feel like my freedom of speech was taken away and I don't think my scholarship should have been revoked over something like that,” Harmon told the newspaper.
He said Cal Poly wrestling coach Jon Sioredas called him on July 2 to say he saw the video and that the scholarship was no more.
“I totally regret it,” Harmon said of the slur. “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.”
A man identified by the Tribune as Harmon’s dad Todd Harmon also appeared in the video yelling, “Send them back!”
As of Thursday morning, the video racked up more than 41,000 views on Facebook.
It was not clear Thursday if Harmon, a recent graduate of Oakdale High School and a medalist in a statewide wrestling competition, still plans to attend Cal Poly as a non-athlete.
“We cannot comment on any details regarding his status as a student because of federal and state privacy laws,” Lambert said Thursday in response to the question.
“We cannot speak to his scholarship or his status as a student specifically, however, a scholarship can be any amount up to the full cost of tuition, fees, room, board and books. Harmon signed a National Letter of Intent to Cal Poly last November,” she said.