Posted on August 31, 2022

Racist Comments at BYU Volleyball Game Never Happened, Sources Suggest

Thomas Stevenson and Luke Hanson, Cougar Chronicle, August 30, 2022

An alleged racist incident occurred during a BYU Women’s Volleyball game on Friday, August 26, 2022. In a public statement given on Sunday, African-American Duke Volleyball player Rachel Richardson claimed, “[I] was targeted and racially heckled throughout the entirety of the match. The slurs and comments grew into threats… Both officials and BYU coaching staff were made aware of the incident during the game, but failed to take the necessary steps… they also failed to adequately address the situation after the game.”

Her story has spread across the nation, appearing in The New York Times, NPR, CNN, and The Hill, among others. BYU athletics appeared to agree with Richardson’s claim of racist slurs in an official statement posted on Twitter indicating that they had “banned a fan who was identified by Duke during last night’s volleyball match from all BYU athletic venues.”

The Cougar Chronicle was contacted yesterday by a source inside the BYU athletic department who told a different story. They have asked for their name to be kept private to avoid discipline from BYU athletics. They will be referred to as Connor. Connor explained:

“Ms. Richardson complained of hearing a racial slur during the second set but did not point anyone out. Officials discussed briefly and stationed policemen there… there were no more complaints until after the match.”

The video of the match shows that Rachael Richardson served on the ROC (student section) side twice in the game. Both serves were during the fourth set. A police officer can be seen standing by the ROC section monitoring the students as Richardson serves. {snip}

The Cougar Chronicle has been unable to find a source in the student section that can corroborate Richardson’s claim of racial slurs being yelled at her. {snip}

Connor explained what happened after the game:

“When a mentally challenged fan approached a Duke player. The Duke team then suddenly recognized the handicapped man’s ‘voice’ as the same one shouting slurs. They never saw or pointed out a face, just a voice. They banned this man. Not for slurs, but for interfering with visiting guests. BYU Athletics staff went through footage of the entire game and the man Duke identified was never seated in the student section. {snip} ”

The Cougar Chronicle reviewed private messages between Connor and others inside the athletic department. The messages corroborate Connor’s statement. {snip}

Rachel Richardson was not the only person who provided statements to the media on her experience. Marvin Richardson, Rachel’s father, claimed there was more than one person throwing slurs at his daughter. He did not attend the game.

Another relation, Rachel’s godmother Lesa Pamplin, drew attention to the story before Richardson’s statement by Tweeting “While playing yesterday [my Goddaughter] was called a n***** every time she served. She was threatened by a white male that told her to watch her back going to the team bus.” According to her Twitter account, Pamplin is an attorney and a current candidate for a Fort Worth judicial election. Pamplin even claimed credit for making the story national news in an official campaign statement on the incident. {snip}

Pamplin has been involved with race politics for some time. Previous Tweets include “If you’re White you totally wouldn’t understand,” and “Why does @CNN consistently interview these dumb a** white women,” and “being married to a white woman he thinks he can talk this stupid a** nonsense. Clarence 2.0.” {snip}