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Tipsheet

BYU's Investigation Puts Supposed Racial Slur Incident at Volleyball Game to Rest

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Brigham Young University's athletics department announced on Friday their investigation into accusations of fans shouting racial slurs at black Duke University volleyball players found no evidence to support such claims.

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Rachel Richardson tweeted a statement claiming she was subjected to racial slurs and BYU did nothing to solve the supposed issue during the game after she brought it up. BYU then banned a fan, who is not a student, who was identified as the culprit, but reporting revealed the fan is mentally challenged and video evidence showed they did not shout when Richardson was serving.

BYU said their investigation went over video and audio recordings during the game, along with interviews with over people who were at the game:

"We reviewed all available video and audio recordings, including security footage and raw footage from all camera angles taken by BYUtv of the match, with broadcasting audio removed (to ensure that the noise from the stands could be heard more clearly). We also reached out to more than 50 individuals who attended the event: Duke athletic department personnel and student-athletes, BYU athletic department personnel and student-athletes, event security and management and fans who were in the arena that evening, including many of the fans in the on-court student section.

"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."

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BYU has since lifted the ban on the person who was wrongly identified as the person yelling racial slurs.

"There will be some who assume we are being selective in our review. To the contrary, we have tried to be as thorough as possible in our investigation, and we renew our invitation for anyone with evidence contrary to our findings to come forward and share it," the school's statement added.

"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," said Duke University Vice President and Director of Athletics Nina King.

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