Fan ban lifted after BYU Athletics closes racial heckling investigation

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BYU Athletics releases statement regarding racial slur allegations, closing the investigation. (BYU Athletics)

BYU Athletics released a statement officially closing their investigation of the alleged racial heckling incident at the BYU vs. Duke University Women’s Volleyball match on Aug. 26.

The statement, released on Friday morning, outlined the extent to which BYU investigated the ordeal, reiterating that the school takes “any claims of racism seriously.”

BYU Athletics’ investigation commenced when Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson’s godmother turned to social media with allegations that BYU fans had repeatedly used racial slurs against Black Duke players.

The statement said they reviewed all security footage and raw footage from BYUtv cameras with broadcast audio removed to ensure that spectators could be heard “more clearly.” Along with extensive audio surveillance, more than 50 athletics staff, student-athletes and on-court student fans from Duke University and BYU were interviewed.

According to the statement, no evidence of racial heckling was found.

As a result of inconclusive evidence, the fan who was banned as a result of the claims has had their access to BYU athletics events reinstated. BYU has not released the identity of the individual, but has stated that their fight is “against racism, not against any individual or any institution.” 

The alleged incident on Aug. 26 has put BYU in the spotlight over the last two weeks, resulting in South Carolina canceling a two-game series with BYU Women’s Basketball. 

Though BYU’s investigation was inconclusive and has now been closed, BYU Athletics has invited anyone with “evidence contrary to our findings to come forward and share it.”

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