Fan Banned by BYU for Using Racist Slur Toward Duke Women's Volleyball Player

Adam WellsAugust 27, 2022

C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

BYU announced Saturday that a fan who used a racist slur and threats against a Duke volleyball player during a match at Smith Fieldhouse on Friday has been banned.

In a statement from BYU's athletic department, the fan has been banned from "all BYU athletic venues."

BYU Cougars @BYUCougars

Official statement from BYU Athletics. <a href="https://t.co/5bIwXNwr7J">pic.twitter.com/5bIwXNwr7J</a>

The school noted the fan was not a BYU student despite sitting in the student section in the arena.

Per Darnell Dickson of the Daily Herald, the racist slurs and threats were directed at Duke sophomore Rachel Richardson.

According to Roland Martin of Nu Vision Media, Marvin Richardson, Rachel's father, said his daughter was supposed to meet with BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe and volleyball head coach Heather Olmstead on Saturday, but Olmstead never showed up.

Lesa Pamplin, who identified herself as Richardson's godmother on Twitter, noted Richardson is the only Black starter for the Blue Devils and was called the N-word by the fan every time she served the ball.

According to Pamplin, a police officer was put by Duke's bench to ensure Richardson's protection.

"Not one freaking adult did anything to protect her. I'm looking at you (BYU)," Pamplin wrote. "You allowed this racist behavior to continue without intervening. Apologizing to her parents after the fact is not enough. She will soon be sharing her story."

Richardson played 21 matches and made three starts as a freshman in 2021. The Maryland native was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll last year.

Duke, BYU, Rider and Washington State are at Smith Fieldhouse this weekend for the doTERRA Classic. The Blue Devils played Washington State and BYU on Day 1 of the event. Their final match is against Rider on Saturday.


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