LIFESTYLE

Activist cries foul after West Point fan wears sombrero at game near Mexican border

It seemed like an innocent enough photo – fans at a West Point football game are seen cheering on their team.

Except, the U.S. Military Academy was playing a college team near the U.S.-Mexico border and one of the West Point fans was wearing a huge sombrero.

“ARMY beats (University of Texas at El Paso) with a final score of 66-14! #GoArmy!” the Facebook post that accompanied the photo said.

Now Latino advocates are crying foul.

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Felix Sanchez, founder and CEO of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, told Fox News Latino on Tuesday that he noticed the photo pop up on his Facebook feed and he found it “extraordinarily offensive."

“Everybody up and down the line saw nothing wrong with this,” he said. “And yet, to me, it’s an example of ‘Trumpism’ in that you are playing a school – University of Texas at El Paso – which is on the border and is a predominately Hispanic-serving institution and that has a student body that is predominately Mexican-American.”

UTEP, a Texas university that is less than 10 miles away from Juarez, Mexico, is 80 percent Hispanic, according to the college's website. The teams played in El Paso on Saturday.

Sanchez said there was no need for the student to wear the sombrero other than to goad the other team. And, he said, West Point was essentially accepting his behavior by posting it on its Facebook page.

“You see this stereotypical, denigrating approach to goading the opposite team from the U.S. Military Academy – where Latinos have served with distinction and Medal Honors winnings coming from this community and no one senses that this is completely inappropriate,” he said.

Sanchez, whose son attends West Point, said if the academy had been playing at traditionally black university and a student wore black face to provoke players, “surely that would not be acceptable.”

“But play a Hispanic-serving institution and wear a sombrero and you get put on the Facebook page of the academy,” he added. “It’s all around this acceptability to stereotype Hispanics.”

The academy did not immediately respond to requests by Fox News Latino seeking comment. Of the more than 80 comments on the Facebook post, only one questioned the sobrero. The photo has been shared more than 470 times and liked more than 4700 times.

Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for FoxNews.com.

Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang