Female Duke volleyball player allegedly called racial slur at BYU match
A female Duke volleyball player was repeatedly called a racial slur during her match against BYU on Friday night, according to the player's godmother.
"My Goddaughter is the only black starter for Dukes volleyball team," Lesa Pamplin tweeted on Saturday. "While playing yesterday, she was called a [racial slur] every time she served. She was threatened by a white male that told her to watch her back going to the team bus. A police officer had to be put by their bench."
"Not one freaking adult did anything to protect her. I’m looking at you BYU," she wrote in another tweet. "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."
The player who was verbally assaulted was sophomore Rachel Richardson, who is an outside hitter for Duke. Pamplin confirmed this in two tweets where she said "Rachel is a wreck. Parents were up till 3 this morning trying to console her."
Pamplin continued to describe the scene of the night on Twitter, where she wrote an adult male with floor seats and two children allegedly called Richardson the slur, a police officer stood near the bench to monitor the student section and players told match officials about the slurs.
Though it's unclear exactly when anything happened, there's a video of Richardson serving in front of BYU's student section when her teammates look over in reaction to something that was said.
Duke was near that student section during the 2nd and 4th sets, so likely happened then?
Here, you can see 2 of her teammates look into that direction during her serve. The fan on the left taps their friend and says something while pointing back (doesn’t look too happy either) pic.twitter.com/xfTQ9a0N8C
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) August 27, 2022
Journalist Roland Martin tweeted that he spoke with Marvin Richardson, Rachel's father, who said Rachel was supposed to meet with the BYU athletic director and head volleyball coach Heather Olmstead, but Olmstead didn't show up for the meeting.
The BYU athletic department issued a statement after the story went viral, apologizing for the incident. The department said it already banned the person who allegedly said the slur and added that they weren't a BYU student.
Official statement from BYU Athletics. pic.twitter.com/5bIwXNwr7J
— BYU Cougars (@BYUCougars) August 27, 2022