Brigham Young University apologizes and bans fan for racial slurs during volleyball game

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The godmother of Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson said in a tweet that Richardson, who is black, was called racial slurs during the game at BYU’s Smith Fieldhouse in Provo.

Lesa Pamplin wrote, “My goddaughter is the only black starter on the Dukes volleyball team. Playing yesterday, she got called an ***er every time she served.”

The post continued: “She was threatened by a white man who told her to watch her heading to the team bus. A police officer had to be placed next to their bench.”

BYU Athletics did not confirm details of the incident, but said it had banned a fan from all sports venues and posted an apology on Twitter.

“All of God’s children deserve love and respect, and BYU Athletics is committed to leading the way in abandoning prejudiced attitudes and actions of all kinds and eradicating racism,” he said.

“When a student-athlete or fan comes to a BYU sporting event, we expect them to be treated with love and respect and to feel safe on our campus. BYU has banned a fan who was tagged by Duke during last night’s volleyball game from all BYU sports venues,” the statement said.

“We wholeheartedly apologize to Duke University and especially its student-athletes competing last night for what they experienced,” the statement continued.

The statement said the person in question was not a BYU student, although they were seated in the student section.

Duke Athletics released a statement on their website announcing they will play their next game later Saturday against Rider University at another location in Provo. The game was originally scheduled to take place at Smith Fieldhouse.

In Duke’s statement, Vice President and Chief Athletic Officer Nina King said, “First and foremost, our priority is the well-being of Duke student-athletes.

“They should always have the opportunity to compete in an inclusive, anti-racist environment that promotes equality and fair play. Due to extremely unfortunate circumstances during Friday night’s game at BYU, we are forced to move the game from today against Rider to a different location to allow both teams the safest atmosphere for the competition,” the statement read. “We appreciate the support of BYU Athletic Administration as we navigate this troubling situation.

“I have been in contact with the student-athletes who have been deeply touched, I will continue to support them in any way I can and I look forward to connecting more when they return from Provo,” he continued. .

NBA superstar LeBron James expressed his support for Richardson by responding to Pamplin’s tweet with, “@LesaPamplin you tell your goddaughter to stand up and be proud and keep being BLACK!!! We’re a brotherhood and a brotherhood! We’ve got it back. It’s not sport.”

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