BYU Bans Fan Who Hurled Racist Slurs To Duke Volleyball Players

August 30, 2022 / Athletic AdministrationCoachingVolleyball
Brigham Young University (BYU) banned a fan who yelled racist slurs at Black volleyball players from the visiting Duke Blue Devils during a weekend match.

The incident gained traction on social media and garnered the attention of Utah governor Spencer Cox, who wrote on Twitter, “As a society, we have to do more to create an atmosphere where racist a**holes like this never feel comfortable attacking others.”

byuA recent story from NPR outlined the events that led to the racist slur from the BYU spectators and what happened thereafter.

Below is an excerpt from the NPR story.

During a Friday match against BYU, sophomore Rachel Richardson and other Black Duke players “were targeted and racially heckled throughout the entirety of the match,” Richardson said in a statement on Sunday.

“The slurs and comments grew into threats which caused us to feel unsafe. … As a result, my teammates and I had to struggle just to get through the rest of the game,” she added.

Previously, the incident gained attention from a Twitter post by Lesa Pamplin, a Texas-based attorney and Richardson’s godmother, who said Richardson was called a slur “every time she served.”

“She was threatened by a white male that told her to watch her back going to the team bus,” Pamplin said.

After Duke’s players complained, a police officer was positioned near the Duke bench for the rest of the match, according to Richardson’s father, Marvin Richardson. In an interview with the Salt Lake TribuneMarvin Richardson expressed disappointment that BYU officials had not done more.

“Why wasn’t the fan removed? After the notification was made to officials and the coaching staff was made aware, why wasn’t something done then?” he said.

In her statement Sunday, Rachel Richardson said BYU officials “were made aware of the incident during the game, but failed to take the necessary steps to stop the unacceptable behavior and create a safe environment.”

In a pair of statements, BYU Athletics apologized for the incident and said the fan had been banned from all campus athletic venues.

“We will not tolerate behavior of this kind. Specifically, the use of a racial slur at any of our athletic events is absolutely unacceptable and BYU Athletics holds a zero-tolerance approach to this behavior,” the school said.

The offending fan was not a student, school officials said, although the person was sitting in a student section. Roughly 5,500 people were in attendance.