“Friday evening in our game against Brigham Young University my African American colleagues and I were targeted and racially harassed throughout the match,” Richardson wrote on Twitter. Insults and comments grew into threats that made us feel insecure.”
“My great daughter is the only black starter for the Dukes volleyball team. Playing yesterday, she was called a ***er every time she served,” Pamplin’s tweet wrote.
Richardson said both Brigham Young University officials and coaching staff were informed of the incident during the match, “but failed to take the necessary steps to stop the unacceptable behavior and create a safe environment.” Even after the incident was brought to their attention, Richardson said BYU officials “failed to adequately address the situation.”
The harassment led to Richardson and her teammates struggling to get past the game, rather than just being able to focus on their own playing, on Twitter.
“No athlete, regardless of race, should be subject to such hostile conditions,” Richardson tweeted.
Richardson also addressed comments that she or her teammates should have refused to continue playing.
“Although the harassment eventually affected me mentally, I refused to let it stop me from doing what I love to do and what I came to BYU to do; which is to play volleyball,” she wrote on Twitter. “I refused to allow these racist fanatics to feel any complacency at the thought that their comments ‘reached me’. So, I went ahead and completed the match.”
Despite the incident, Richardson said she didn’t think this was a reflection of the BYU athletes. She praised their players for a great match and showed “nothing but respect and good sportsmanship both on and off the field.”
“When a student sports fan or a fan comes to a BYU sports event, we expect them to be treated with love, respect and feel safe on campus. That is why BYU banned a fan identified by Duke during last night’s volleyball match from all BYU sports venues,” according to the statement.
“We sincerely apologize to Duke University and especially its student-athletes who competed last night for what they have been through,” the statement read.
The statement said the person in question was not a BYU student, despite sitting in the student section.
“They should always have the opportunity to compete in an inclusive anti-racist environment that promotes equality and fair play,” Duke’s statement read.
CNN’s Matt Foster contributed to this report.
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