Last month, Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson came forward with claims that she was called multiple racial slurs by fans during a road match against BYU. But after what it calls an “extensive review,” it seems BYU does not believe Richardson was telling the truth.
On Friday, BYU released a statement essentially rejecting Richardson’s claims that she was called racial slurs, saying “we have not found any evidence to corroborate the allegation.” The school has also lifted the ban on the fan previously identified as using racial slurs.
“As a result of our investigation, we have lifted the ban on the fan who was identified as having uttered racial slurs during the match,” BYU said in a statement. “We have not found any evidence that that individual engaged in such an activity. BYU sincerely apologizes to that fan for any hardship the ban has caused.”
After the release of BYU’s statement, Duke University Vice President & Director of Athletics Nina King did not take kindly to the findings, offering a strong statement in response.
“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,” King said. “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.”
The story was high profile already, but BYU’s surprising statement amplified the story, even eliciting a reaction from college basketball personality Jay Bilas.
BYU and Duke do not play often as this year’s matchup was their first matchup since 2018. But next time they meet, it’s safe to say the matchup will be a little more intense.
Photo Credit: NCAA