Over a month after the original incident, a Tweet identified former University of Wisconsin student Eric Kotek as the individual who made racist gestures toward the student section at a Northwestern basketball game Jan. 18, 2022.
Posted by @thatdaneshguy, the Tweet shows two videos of the incident and confirms Kotek’s identity with photo evidence. In an email to The Badger Herald, UW spokesperson Meredith McGlone confirmed it was Kotek in the videos.
This was not the first time Kotek has made racist gestures at a UW sporting event. According to reporting by The Badger Herald, Kotek yelled derogatory obscenities at the opposing team and fans at a basketball game in the Kohl Center in 2013 when he was a student at UW. Later that night, Kotek slapped a woman on her backside.
Kotek was arrested on charges of fourth-degree sexual assault, battery and disorderly conduct, UWPD spokesperson Marc Lovicott said in an email to The Badger Herald. Kotek was not convicted of those charges, meaning the Dane County District Attorney did not pursue, dropped or altered the charges.
Following Kotek’s actions at the Northwestern game, UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank and Director of Athletics Chris McIntosh released a joint statement condemning the “offensive anti-Asian gestures made by a man in Badgers apparel” and thanking spectators for capturing Kotek’s actions on video.
“We also want to acknowledge that hateful behavior like this still happens far too often, on and off campus — towards members of our Asian, Pacific Islander and Desi American community as well as other marginalized communities,” Blank and McIntosh said. “It inflicts pain and fear and causes students, staff and faculty to feel unwelcome and unsafe.”
Kotek has also been prohibited from purchasing tickets through the UW Athletics platform, according to the statement.
Kotek previously worked for SAP, a German multinational software corporation. Since the incident in January, however, he is no longer an employee there, according to a Tweet by SAP on the Twitter thread he was identified in.