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Brigham Young says 'no evidence' to substantiate claims of racial slurs at women's volleyball match

Player had alleged she was the victim of racist attacks throughout entirety of match.

Published: September 9, 2022 11:10am

Updated: September 9, 2022 11:19am

Brigham Young University on Thursday announced that it had found no evidence to support claims that a visiting black volleyball player was heckled with racist taunts at a recent match at the Utah school's campus. 

The school said in a statement that an "extensive review" had produced "[no] evidence to corroborate the allegation that fans engaged in racial heckling or uttered racial slurs at the event."

"[W]e would not tolerate any conduct that would make a student-athlete feel unsafe," the school said. "That is the reason for our immediate response and our thorough investigation."

The allegations originally arose with Duke University volleyball player Rachel Richardson, who said that she and her fellow black teammates were heckled and taunted repeatedly during the course of a match late last month against BYU. 

Richardson's claims went viral, with major news outlets around the country reporting on the allegations, though in the days afterward no other players, fans or attendees of the game came forward to corroborate her story. 

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, Brigham Young said it had banned a fan from the game that it thought was responsible for the heckling. In its Thursday statement the school admitted that it had "not found any evidence that that individual engaged in such an activity."

"As a result of our investigation, we have lifted the ban on the fan" in question, they said.

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