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BYU Police are unable to confirm that a fan used a racial slur to taunt a Duke sophomore in a volleyball game at Smith Fieldhouse over the weekend.
An investigation is ongoing since Rachel Richardson, a 19-year-old Duke player, said she was called the N-word by a non-student sitting in BYU’s student section.
In addition to being called the N-word, Richardson’s godmother stated that the volleyball player was also told to “watch her back going to the team bus.”
BYU Police, who have reviewed video footage from the game, have seen no such behavior.
“When we watched the video, we did not observe that behavior from him,” BYU Police Lt. George Besendorfer told the Salt Lake Tribune.
Police: Richardson Is Only Person Who Heard Slur
According to Richardson’s godmother, the N-word was uttered “every time [Richardson] served.”
Besendorfer’s findings align with what was uncovered by The Cougar Chronicle, BYU’s conservative-leaning student newspaper operated independently of the school. No one other than Richardson has said they heard the slur.
Eight game attendees were interviewed by the Chronicle. None heard the N-word, or any other racial slur. On Tuesday evening, OutKick’s Alejandro Avila detailed the newspaper’s findings, along with efforts OutKick has made to get answers to several questions about the incident.
“There is zero evidence of a slur being said. Not a single witness, besides Ms. Richardson, has come forth. Not a single cell phone video,” said an anonymous source who attended the volleyball game.
BYU Associate AD: ‘Unable To Find Evidence Of … Slurs’
BYU Police did remove the accused fan from the event, and the school subsequently banned him from attending future Cougars contests.
“The person who was banned was the person identified by Duke as using racial slurs,” BYU associate athletics director Jon McBride told The Salt Lake Tribune. “However, we have been unable to find any evidence of that person using slurs in the match.”
BYU Police and game attendees seem to agree.
“There was nothing seen on the game film that led me to believe” that the man “was the person who was making comments to the player who complained about being called the N-word,” a BYU Police officer said in a report that followed a video review of the alleged incident.
There were inconsistencies in the Duke/Richardson version of the timeline as well, according to the Tribune.
The officer said the alleged offender was not present in the BYU volleyball student section during the second set, which is when Richardson said she heard the slurs. The Tribune also reported that when Richardson served at one point in the match, the alleged offender could be seen playing on his phone.
After the allegation was made, a police officer spoke with representatives from both teams. He removed the alleged offender as requested, but stated in his police report: “I told the athletic staff that I never heard one racial comment being made.”
Per to the report, the officer that was placed near the BYU student section — following complaints from the Duke players and staff — heard no “inappropriate comments or language.”
Stay tuned with OutKick as the story develops.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF
OutKick The Show: BYU Racial Slur at Volleyball Game Story Collapses
Clay Travis: “Wouldn’t there be video of this? Why does this keep happening? Why is there such a demand to believe these stories that we don’t require any investigation at all?”