Fan banned for racist incident at Brigham Young University volleyball game


PROVO, Utah (KTVX) — A Brigham Young University fan has been banned for repeatedly calling a Duke player a racial slur and threatening her during Friday night’s women’s volleyball game at the Smith Field house.

BYU released a statement Saturday saying, “To say that we are extremely discouraged by the actions of a small number of fans at last night’s volleyball game…isn’t strong enough language.” We will not tolerate any such behavior. Specifically, the use of racial slurs at any of our sporting events is absolutely unacceptable. We sincerely apologize to Duke University and especially its student-athletes.

The statement went on to say that although the fan was seated in the student section of BYU, he was not a student.

Lesa Pamplin of Fort Worth, Texas, originally tweeted about the incident, saying her goddaughter, Rachel Richardson, the Duke team’s only black starter, was called the N-word whenever she served and was also threatened by the fan. .

“She was threatened by a white man who told her to watch her heading towards the team bus,” Pamplin tweeted. “A policeman had to be placed next to their bench. You have allowed this racist behavior to continue without intervening. Apologizing to your parents after the fact is not enough. She will soon share her story.

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe told USA TODAY Sports he spoke with Richardson and Duke volleyball coach Jolene Nagel and the decision was made to move Saturday’s game against Rider to another site in Provo.

Both said they were hurt and disappointed the incident was not stopped and also said they had no problem with BYU players.

Holmoe said the school is investigating the incident and no further disciplinary action is expected except for the fan who was banned and anyone else identified for uttering insults.

“I’m concerned for Rachel and her well-being, and the school has been investigating so far,” Holmoe said. “The bottom line is that we’re going to have to do more. We are going to have to be vigilant and continue to say that under no circumstances should this be tolerated. »

Holmoe also addressed the crowd at Smith’s Fieldhouse before Saturday night’s game against Washington State.

Duke’s Saturday game against Rider was moved to Mountain View High School and was played without any fans in attendance.

“First and foremost, our priority is the well-being of Duke student-athletes,” Duke athletic director Nina King said in a school statement. “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 at a different location to provide both teams with the safest atmosphere for competition.

“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, will continue to support them in any way I can, and look forward to connecting more when they return from Provo.


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