Brigham Young University banned a fan who allegedly continually yelled racial slurs at a Duke University Volleyball player during a match on Friday night.
“When a student-athlete or a fan comes to a BYU sporting event, we expect that they will be treated with love and respect and feel safe on our campus. It is for this reason BYU has banned a fan who was identified by Duke during last night’s volleyball match from a BYU athletic venue,” said an official statement from BYU Athletics. “Although this fan was sitting in BYU’s student section, this person is not a BYU student.”
Rachel Richardson, a sophomore at Duke, has been playing since she was in high school and has competed in the USA Girls Open Junior National Championships the last four years. She has also been named Player of the Year by the WCAC for 2019-2020 as well as Washington D.C. Gatorade Player of the Year for the same season. She is the only Black player on the Duke team.
“Racism in any form has no place at BYU, or anywhere else. I apologize for what the Duke student-athletes experienced during our match on Friday. We must do better,” said a statement posted on BYU Women’s Volleyball Instagram from Heather Olmstead, BYU head women’s volleyball coach. “I have been able to have productive conversations with the student-athlete who was impacted the most Friday night, Rachel Richardson, the Duke volleyball team captain and the Duke volleyball head coach. They have helped me understand areas where we can do better. I thank them for taking the time to speak with me. I want the very best for them and the entire Duke team.”
In an email to ESPN, Richardsons godmother, Lesa Pamplin, a Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney said, “For far too long, individuals have been subjected to racist slurs, taunts, and threats like the unfortunate incident that happened to my goddaughter, Rachel Richardson, at BYU. It is unfortunate that this incident has only received attention after I tweeted about it.”
According to ESPN, Pamlin tweeted on her now private account that Richardson was called a slur everytime she served the ball.
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