Why didn’t officials, coaches intervene when the Duke volleyball player was verbally abused? – WRALSportsFan

Why didn't officials, coaches intervene when the Duke volleyball player was verbally abused?  - WRALSportsFan

Leaders of athletic programs at Duke and Brigham Young universities decried the fact that a fan repeatedly yelled a racial slur at a volleyball player this weekend, but took responsibility for stopping a similar attack in the future.

Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson posted on Twitter that she was targeted and “racially heckled” during the August 26 away game at BYU’s Smith Fieldhouse. At least one fan repeatedly yelled the n-word at Richardson as she went to serve.

WRAL News reached out to Duke University to request an interview with Athletic Director Nina King and volleyball coach Jolene Nagel, but neither were available. WRAL News also reached out to BYU to ask why the school didn’t do more, but has not heard back.

Duke volleyball player targeted during an offside

Richardson’s father, Marvin Richardson, spoke to CNN.

“Rachel is very strong, very mentally tough, but she’s 19 years old,” Marvin Richardson said.

Marvin Richardson did not attend the BYU-Duke game, but said his daughter called him afterward in tears.

In the hours and days following the racist remark, BYU and Duke officials both issued statements, but neither intervened during the match to stop the alleged verbal abuse.

Marvin Richardson and many others want to know why no one condemned the act immediately.

“What I would like to see going forward is that we take every effort, make every effort, to make sure that those sites are safe and free from this kind of activity,” said Marvin Richardson.

BYU’s statement said in part:

“We will not tolerate this type of behavior. Specifically, the use of a racial slur at any of our sporting events is absolutely unacceptable and BYU Athletics maintains a zero-tolerance approach to this behavior. We sincerely apologize to Duke University and especially to its student body. – athlete competing last night for what they experienced. We want BYU athletic events to provide a safe environment for everyone, and there is no place for this type of behavior on our venues.”

BYU banned the fan who yelled the slur from all athletic fields on campus, according to the statement. The fan was sitting in the BYU student section but was not a student, the statement said.

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe also addressed fans on Aug. 28.

“I want you to know that this morning I visited with the young athlete on the Duke team and her coach,” Holmoe said in part. “If you had met her, you would have loved her … as children of God, it is our mission to love one another and treat everyone with respect – and that did not happen, we missed out. We did not live up to our best.”

on saturday, Duke issued a statement of its own.

“First and foremost, our priority is the well-being of Duke student-athletes,” King said in the statement. “They should always have the opportunity to compete in an inclusive, anti-racist environment that promotes equality and fair play.

“Following extremely unfortunate circumstances at Friday night’s game at BYU, we are forced to make a change. [Saturday’s] match against Rider to a different location to provide both teams with the safest atmosphere for competition.”

Duke football offensive tackle Brian Parker II said he thought the university’s administration was doing a great job in how they were handling the situation.

“There are still messed up people in this world,” Parker said. “We can’t always change everyone, but we can certainly try.”

Parker offered his support to Rachel Richardson.

“It shouldn’t have happened,” Parker said. “It’s a terrible thing.”

99.9 Joe Giglio of The Fan offered his reaction to the racist remarks.

“It’s such a heinous incident and you sit here and you have to remind yourself, you look at a calendar and say, ‘Is it really 2022 and it’s still happening to Black athletes?’ Giglio said.

Giglio mentioned that this is not the first time a fan has made a racist remark at a sporting event in Utah. Last year, the NBA’s Utah Jazz banned three people who made racist comments at a game. In 2019, NBA star Russell Westbrook said a fan made a “racial” taunt at him.

Mark Anthony Neal, professor and chair of the African and African American Studies Department at Duke, said, “I think I was shocked but not surprised and, of course, a little saddened that in 2022, that we’re still dealing with these types of people. of things, especially in the sense that we have always thought of athletics as an equal playing field, as pure meritocracy.

“And, those people would be accepted in those spaces as long as they could produce.”

Neal questioned why NCAA officials or both coaches did not hold the fan accountable. Giglio wondered why coaches and teammates didn’t step in.

“Obviously, the NCAA officials that were there, as well as the coaches on both sides, and all the other adults in the room, should have been much more active,” Neal said.

Neal said that if he was in the same situation, he would have protected the player.

“Unfortunately, even in 2022, this is still a teachable moment,” Neal said. “For people who would like to believe that we actually live in a post-racial society, this is yet another reminder of the challenges that African-Americans, in this case, face every day just to do their jobs, to do what is expected. of them.”


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