CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Footage released of eyewitness account of racist incident against Utah Women’s basketball team

Mar 29, 2024, 9:00 PM | Updated: Apr 1, 2024, 1:47 pm

Utah Utes guard Lani White (3) hugs Utah Utes forward Dasia Young (34) after her basket in the fina...

Utah Utes guard Lani White (3) hugs Utah Utes forward Dasia Young (34) after her basket in the final seconds brought Utah up to win 77-76 during the college women’s basketball game between the Utah Utes and the Colorado Buffaloes at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024. (Megan Nielsen, Deseret News)

(Megan Nielsen, Deseret News)

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — The Coeur d’Alene Police Department has released footage of an eyewitness account of the racist incident against the Utah Women’s Basketball team. 

Soon after the alleged harassment on March 21, Robert Moyer, who said he is a financial donor for the team, spoke to Coeur d’Alene police. He described the incident as very intentional. 

“It was aggressive– it wasn’t passive,” he said.

According to Moyer and head coach Lynne Roberts, the team was in Idaho to play Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament. The team was walking to a restaurant when people in trucks yelled racially charged profanities, “directed at [team members] of color.”

Moyer said initially, some of the team didn’t realize what had happened until they got to the restaurant. When they came out of the restaurant, he said the people who harassed them earlier were still there. 

“We came out… they had to have been waiting,” he said.

Moyer described the trucks as white and “jacked up.” He said the people in the trucks shouted the N-word and revved their engines at the team.

“I’m not saying [it was] premeditated, but they waited until [the team] came back. It’s unbelievable,” Moyer said. 

He said they contacted the NCAA to get the team out of the area. According to Utah Women’s Basketball head coach Lynne Roberts, they moved to a different hotel

Moyer said the incident visibly shook members of the team up.

“It scared them a lot,” he said.

In the police footage, an officer initially wrote this up as an “FI” report. KSL has confirmed from the FBI that federal investigators are in contact with local Idaho authorities.

“If, in the course of the local investigation, information comes to light of a potential federal violation, the FBI is prepared to investigate,” the FBI said in a statement. 

Response to the incident

Since the incident happened, there’s been widespread response from public officials both in Utah and Idaho. 

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall posted on “X” that she wants the team to know that the city of Salt Lake supports them. 

Jeanetta Williams, president of the Salt Lake branch of the NAACP said in a statement “I am extremely disappointed to hear about the racist incident that occurred in Coeur d’Alene. These acts of hate crimes should not be taken lightly.” 

Coeur d’Alene Lt. Gov. Scott Bedke said in a statement “I am disgusted and angry about the disturbing events in Coeur d’Alene that were directed against athletes, students, and visitors to our state. Idaho does not tolerate racism, hate, or bigotry in any form.” 

The University of Utah Athletics Department also released a statement March 26 on the incident:

 

Related reading: Suspect arrested after standoff with SLCPD and SWAT team

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Footage released of eyewitness account of racist incident against Utah Women’s basketball team