Cameron Muh | Posted: 28 Aug 2022 | Updated: 13 Sep 2022

Official BYU Statement

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The following statement was shared by BYU Athletics on Aug. 28:

All of God’s children deserve love and respect, and BYU Athletics is completely committed to leading out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice of any kind and rooting out racism. When a student-athlete or a fan comes to a BYU sporting event, we expect that they will be treated with love and respect and feel safe on our campus. It is for this reason BYU has banned a fan who was identified by Duke during Friday night’s volleyball match from all BYU athletic venues. Although this fan was sitting in BYU’s student section, this person is not a BYU student.
 
To say we are extremely disheartened in the actions of a small number of fans in last night’s volleyball match in the Smith Fieldhouse between BYU and Duke is not strong enough language. We will not tolerate behavior of this kind. Specifically, the use of a racial slur at any of our athletic events is absolutely unacceptable and BYU Athletics holds a zero-tolerance approach to this behavior. We wholeheartedly apologize to Duke University and especially its student-athletes competing last night for what they experienced. We want BYU athletic events to provide a safe environment for all, and there is no place for behaviors like this in our venues.

To help answer some of the questions from media, the following statement was also shared:

Following Friday night’s volleyball game, we spent hours reviewing video of the event, speaking with our event management and security staffs to try and figure out what exactly occurred and how it might’ve happened. This behavior cannot be acceptable. To any of us. When last night’s behavior was initially reported by Duke, there was no individual pointed out and despite BYU security and event management’s efforts, they were not able to identify a perpetrator of racial slurs.

It wasn’t until after the game that an individual was identified by Duke who they believed were uttering the slurs and exhibiting problematic behaviors. That is the individual who has been banned. We understand that the Duke players’ experience is what matters here. They felt unsafe and hurt, and we were unable to address that during the game in a manner that was sufficient.

For that, we truly do apologize, and we are examining our processes and practices to do everything in our power to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. We commit to increased communication with our event staff to handle these types of situations better and having further discussion with our student section, educating them on our fan code of conduct.