More athletes accuse Brigham Young University crowd of racism

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John Todd/ISI Photos

Brigham Young University students were embroiled in another racial controversy, this time centering on a women’s soccer game.

According to a new report from The Guardian.

“I just remember there was like a constant chant of ‘Stand up, N-words’ during the anthem and right after,” said one player, who did not want to be identified.

She said BYU staff didn’t seem alarmed when alerted to what was happening.

“The backlash for kneeling was nothing new for our group, but hearing it in person was shocking. I think the fans and the coaching staff knew we weren’t going to cancel the game after the incident, which again shows that this could be part of a larger cultural issue within BYU as that institution.

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According The Guardian, four other players supported their teammates’ claims and said they also heard the chants. A player who did not hear the racist remarks said the crowd was reminded how to behave at a sporting event during an announcement.

“Nothing else has been done to my knowledge,” she said.

At the time of the incident, BYU associate athletic director for communications and media strategy Jon McBride said the crowd was reminded to respect the visiting teams, but was not at the aware of any discriminatory remarks.

“We are not aware of any additional concerns raised during the game or at any time thereafter,” McBride said. The Guardian. “As we have said, BYU will not tolerate any form of racism.”

Neither McBride nor BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe immediately responded to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment on Friday.

The charges come just a month after Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson claimed BYU staff did nothing when fans shouted racial slurs at her during a game on Aug. 26.

Richardson published a statement on Twitter on August 28, writing that she and her black teammates “were targeted and racially heckled throughout the game.”

“Insulting comments turned into threats that made us feel unsafe,” she wrote. “BYU officials and coaching staff were made aware of the incident during the game, but failed to take action to end the unacceptable behavior and create a safe environment. …My teammates and I had to struggle to get through the rest of the game, instead of just being able to focus on our game.”

However, after a “thorough review,” BYU officials said they found no evidence of racist behavior during the volleyball game with Duke.

“We have reviewed all available video and audio recordings, including security footage and raw footage from all camera angles…We have also contacted over 50 people who attended the event,” said McBride in a school statement earlier in September. “We found no evidence to support the allegation that fans engaged in racist heckling or uttered racial slurs at the event. As we have previously stated, we will not tolerate any conduct that would make a student-athlete feel unsafe, which is the reason for our immediate response and thorough investigation.

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