Duke volleyball in Utah moved after racist abuse hurled at Black player – Reuters

Duke volleyball in Utah moved after racist abuse hurled at Black player - Reuters

Mar 14, 2022; Dayton, OH, USA; NCAA logo seen on a microphone during practice the day before the start of the First Four of the 2022 NCAA Tournament at UD Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

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Aug 27 (Reuters) – A Duke University women’s volleyball game on Saturday was moved to an alternate venue in Provo, Utah, after racial slurs were hurled at a Black player from the crowd during Friday’s match with BYU, school officials said.

The incident prompted BYU to apologize and ban a fan identified as the perpetrator.

Lesa Pamplin, godmother of the player Black Duke, wrote on Twitter that while playing her 19-year-old daughter, Rachel Richardson, was subjected to racist insults every time she was on duty.

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“She was threatened by a white male who told her to watch her go back to the team bus. A cop had to be put off their bench,” Pamplin tweeted. She confirmed the account in an interview with Reuters.

“Many adults failed my daughter,” Pamplin said in a statement. “Every American should be outraged that a young lady was subjected to hateful, degrading language.”

Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Nina King said in a statement that the “extremely unfortunate circumstances” forced it to change the venue for Saturday’s game against Rider “to provide both teams with the safest atmosphere for competition.” She said players should always be able to complete in an “inclusive, anti-racist environment.”

In a statement, BYU said it is fully committed to rooting out racism, and banned a Duke-identified fan from all BYU Athletic venues.

In a later email to Reuters, BYU said that after the game officials spent hours reviewing video of the event, and speaking with event management and security staff.

BYU said that when “last night’s behavior was initially reported by Duke, there was no individual identified and despite the efforts of BYU security and incident management, they were unable to identify a perpetrator of racial slurs.”

After the game, BYU said, “an individual was identified by Duke who they believed uttered the slurs and exhibited problematic behaviors. That is the individual who was banned.”

The school said the perpetrator was sitting in the BYU student section but was not a BYU student.

BYU said Duke players “felt unsafe and hurt, and we were unable to address that during the game in a way that was sufficient. For that, we truly apologize, and we are examining our processes and practices to do everything in our power. that something like this will not happen again.”

The incident caused condemnation on social media. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James tweeted in support of Richardson: “We have her back. This is not a sport.”

Duke did not immediately respond to requests for further comment on the incident. The BYU Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Duke won the game Saturday against Rider 3-1, its first win of the season. Richardson led the team with three aces.

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Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Daniel Wallis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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