Father of Duke University student speaks out after alleged racial slurs and threats at volleyball game


DURHAM, NC (WNCN) – A Duke University student and volleyball player and her father are speaking out after student Rachel Richardson said she was called racial slurs – and had even been threatened during an out-of-state game.

Rachel’s father, Marvin Richardson, said officials and coaches during the game didn’t act quickly enough to stop what was happening, and now he wants things to change.

“We don’t want to go back in this country,” he said. “I don’t want my kids to have to deal with the kind of blatant racism I faced growing up.”

Richardson said her daughter, a sophomore, was racially harassed and even threatened during Friday’s game at Brigham Young University as coaches and officials stood by.

“They did nothing to stop the behavior while it continued, or to remove anyone who exhibited the behavior while it continued,” he said.

Rachel posted a statement on Twitter saying, in part, that the insults and threats put her and other players at risk.

Brigham Young University also released a statement, saying a fan, who was not a student at the school, was banned from sporting events. Their sporting director later spoke out during a game, promising changes in the future.

But Rachel’s father said apologizing afterwards was too late.

“When something is wrong we have to report it, we can’t sit idly by,” Richardson said. “When we remain passive, that in itself is a form of approval.”

Richardson said time will tell if changes are really being made to make sporting events a space where players can focus on one thing: competition.

“At the end of the day, the proof is in the actions, so hopefully this kind of thing won’t happen again, if there’s anything I’d like to see come out of it, at a college sporting event.” , Richardson said.

Duke University also released a statement on Twitter saying in part that all student-athletes should be able to compete in inclusive environments.


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