BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY

BYU Athletics says investigation found ‘no evidence’ of racist heckling

Sep 9, 2022, 8:28 AM | Updated: Sep 12, 2022, 11:28 am
BYU Student athletic building. A racist slur was investigated by BYU...
The BYU Student Athletic Building in Provo is pictured on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah — BYU Athletics released a statement Friday morning saying it had found no evidence to corroborate the report of racist slurs being yelled at a Duke volleyball player. As a result of the investigation, BYU Athletics will lift the ban of a fan who was accused of shouting racial slurs.

The program said it looked through “all available video and audio recordings” from security footage and raw footage from BYUtv.

BYU Athletics also said it spoke to over 50 people who attended the game. Those interviewed included fans who were seated in the on-court student section, event security and personnel and athletes from both BYU and Duke.

“From our extensive review, we have not found any evidence to corroborate the allegation that fans engaged in racial heckling or uttered racial slurs at the event. As we stated earlier, we would not tolerate any conduct that would make a student-athlete feel unsafe. That is the reason for our immediate response and our thorough investigation,” said a statement from BYU.

The statement also apologized to the fan who was banned for any hardships incurred by the ban.

Though the program found no evidence of racial slurs being yelled, it says BYU and the athletics program remain committed to fighting racism. BYU Athletics said it hoped its efforts to quickly and thoroughly investigate the situation would help student-athletes see the program’s commitment to providing a safe environment.

BYU Athletics invited anyone with evidence contrary to its findings to come forward. The full statement from BYU Athletics can be found on their website.

Duke’s response

Duke University Vice President & Director of Athletics Nina King released a statement shortly after BYU Athletic’s announcement. King said

“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. 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.” #HateWontLiveHere”

Related: Police report shows authorities can’t prove BYU fan used a racial slur

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BYU Athletics says investigation found ‘no evidence’ of racist heckling