HomeSportsDuke volleyball player: BYU is slow to respond to defamation

Duke volleyball player: BYU is slow to respond to defamation

Volleyball player Duke, who was exposed to racist comments during a game at BYU, said on Sunday that officials at the scene did not react quickly enough when informed of the behavior during the game.

Nor did they adequately address the situation immediately after the game, Rachel Richardson said in a statement statement posted on her Twitter account.

“No athlete, regardless of race, should ever be exposed to such hostile conditions,” said Richardson, the lone Black starter on the Blue Devils team.

BYU banned a fan from all on-campus athletic venues Saturday, a day after the game, saying the athletics department has a “zero-tolerance approach to this behavior.” The fan was not a student but was in the student section.

Richardson’s godmother, Lesa Pamplin, had tweeted that Richardson was called racist “every time she served” during the match. She also wrote that Richardson “was threatened by a white man who told her to see her go back to the team bus. A police officer had to be put at their bank.”

Richardson, a 19-year-old sophomore from Ellicott City, Maryland, wrote that she did not believe the fan’s actions were a reflection of BYU athletes. was notified.

“This isn’t the first time this has happened in college athletics and unfortunately it probably won’t be the last,” Richardson said. “Every time it happens, we as student athletes, coaches, fans and administrators have the opportunity to educate those who behave hatefully.”

Richardson also commented on the idea that some people would have liked to see Duke’s team respond quickly, for example by refusing to play in what turned out to be a 3-1 win for BYU.

“Although the bickering eventually took a mental toll on me, I refused to let that stop me from doing what I love to do and what I came to BYU for—playing volleyball,” said Richardson. “I refused to give those racist bigots any measure of satisfaction in thinking that their comments ‘touched me’. So I went ahead and finished the game.

“Therefore, on behalf of my African-American teammates and I, we don’t want to be pitied or seen as helpless. We don’t feel like we’re victims of some tragic unavoidable event. We’re proud to be a young African-American women; we are proud to be Duke student athletes and proud to stand up against racism.”

Duke had moved his Saturday game against Rider from BYU’s Smith Fieldhouse to another location in Provo, Utah. Richardson led the Blue Devils with three aces in the 3-1 win.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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