Balloons of the letters “K,” “S” and “W” were on display this morning outside of Stanford’s storied House of Champions, but were conspicuously taken down by the afternoon. Stanford Athletics spokesperson Brian Risso confirmed in an email that the balloons were removed by Stanford Athletics “in the course of regular athletic facility maintenance.”
It’s unknown who put up the balloons, which stand for Keep Stanford Wrestling, but one of the team’s wrestlers first saw the balloons when entering the facilities this morning. According to Keep Stanford Wrestling, they were taken down within half an hour of the group posting the photo on its social media.
The incident comes two days after the NCAA Wrestling Championships, where redshirt sophomore Shane Griffith claimed a National Title in the 165-pound weight class while wearing an all-black singlet without the typical Stanford letters in protest of the university’s decision to discontinue the program. His win and the team’s protest on the national stage have sparked ongoing online discussion and outrage at the university’s actions.
“Stanford Athletics has been supportive of the wrestling team’s ability to express themselves in this way,” Risso wrote, referring to the team’s self-imposed name change to Keep Stanford Wrestling and all-black uniforms.