Members of the U.S. men’s Olympic fencing team made a decision to take a stand against one of their own teammates at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
An alternate on the team, Alen Hadzic, is being accused of rape and sexual assault by three different women. Hadzic, who is now 29-years-old, reportedly committed the crimes between 2013 and 2015. Hadzic had actually been suspended back in June over the allegations, but they were recently overturned and he was allowed to partake in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a result.
But his fencing teammates weren’t having it. As a matter of fact, they decided to take a stand against Hadzic while standing right next to him. Hadzic was the only member of the team to wear a black mask. Standing next to him were teammates Jake Hoyle, Curtis McDowald, and Yeisser Ramirez, in a photo of the team right before they faced off against Japan.
Alen Hadzic Not Happy With Teammates’ Protest at 2020 Tokyo Olympics
In a recent interview with USA TODAY Sports, Alen Hadzic said that he was furious with his teammates over their protest against him. He didn’t even realize what was happening until he later saw the pictures.
“It wasn’t really until I saw that picture from the outside view that I realized what was going on,” he admitted.
Hadzic told the outlet that he tried to touch base with all three of his teammates. He was unable to get ahold of McDowald, but he was able to speak with Hoyle and Ramirez.
“I just told (Hoyle) I was frankly embarrassed to be his teammate,” he said. “I was embarrassed to stand up there with him.”
As for Ramirez, Hadzic said that he “chewed him out.” And that “it wasn’t cool” what his fencing teammates did to him.
“TeamUSA men’s epee team wore pink masks for their opening match at the Olympics as a show of support for sexual assault victims. Alen Hadzic — their teammate accused of rape and sexual assault — is on the left. Kudos to the team for taking a stand. #BelieveWomen”
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics fencer even admitted that he asked his teammates if they had an extra pink mask so he could match with the rest of the team. That was before he realized that they were wearing masks in protest of his actions. Not only that but also stand up for victims of sexual assault.
“I just remember thinking it would be kind of silly if I stood out there with a black mask. And I asked them if they had an extra (pink) one, and they go, ‘Oh, no,'” Hadzic said. “They never asked me for my side of the story. They never asked for evidence or how I felt.”