Sep 9, 2022 - Sports

BYU says it found no evidence of racist slurs at volleyball match

tudents make their way across the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
Students make their way across the campus of Brigham Young University. Photo: George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BYU did not find any evidence to support allegations that fans used racial slurs during a volleyball match against Duke late last month, the school said Friday in a statement.

The big picture: BYU's investigation came after allegations that one of the school's fans committed racial heckling against a player for the Duke University women's volleyball team last month. BYU banned the fan who allegedly shouted racist remarks, but that ban has since been lifted.

Driving the news: The university said it did not find "any evidence that that individual engaged in such an activity. BYU sincerely apologizes to that fan for any hardship the ban has caused."

  • For its investigation, BYU said it reached out to more than 50 people who attended the match, including students, fans, staffers, personnel and more from both Duke and BYU.
  • "Our fight is against racism, not against any individual or any institution," the school said.

Duke University issued a statement Friday after BYU released its investigation findings.

  • "The 18 members of the Duke University volleyball team are exceptionally strong women who represent themselves, their families, and Duke University with the utmost integrity," Nina King, Duke's vice president and director of athletics, said in a statement.
  • "We unequivocally stand with and champion them, especially when their character is called into question. Duke Athletics believes in respect, equality and inclusiveness, and we do not tolerate hate and bias."

Catch up quick: Lesa Pamplin wrote on Twitter last month that her goddaughter, Rachel Richardson, "was called a n----r every time she served" by a BYU fan at an event between BYU and Duke in Utah at the end of August.

  • Richardson said at the time that the BYU coaching staff was notified of the incident, but "failed to make the necessary steps to stop the unacceptable behavior. ... They also failed to address the situation immediately following the game when it was brought to their attention again."
  • BYU immediately apologized to Richardson, saying the school "will not tolerate behavior of this kind." The university then banned the fan.

Go deeper: Fan banned from BYU matches after allegedly shouting racist slurs

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