Durham, North Carolina — Black students at Duke are planning to play Friday’s women’s volleyball game against East Tennessee State at Cameron Indoor Stadium. It was in support of player Rachel Richardson, who said she was repeatedly called a racial slur by fans during a game at Brigham Young University in Utah last week.
A Duke Athletic spokesman said plans were in place for enhanced security for Friday’s game.
However, some black students at Duke are also taking responsibility for themselves to make sure the black athletes on the team feel safe.
“We can provide them with protection, support and love because that’s basically what they need right now,” said Erathia Campbell, president of Duke’s United Black Athletes chapter.
“I hope this will show that the black community here, made up of Duke student-athletes and Duke students, is really strong,” she said.
The group worked with Duke University’s Black Student Union to develop a plan for its members to fill the Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“For us, at BSA, as black students, how can we help right away? Because there’s a connection there and this community already exists,” said BSA President Isaiah Hamilton. “How can we unite our military, mobilize our communities, and show love for these black student-athletes?”
Some Claims Questioning Verbal Abuse
After last week’s game at BYU, Duke sophomore Rachel Richardson tweeted that she and her African-American teammates were “targeted and racist throughout the game.”
Now some online are questioning whether this happened.
“The stories that have been circulating recently, especially [Thursday] In the morning, it’s ineffective for Rachel — not even just Rachel — any black Duke student-athlete who comes out and says something else,” Campbell said. “We can extend that to black people. student. This just makes it difficult for anyone who wants to share their story or be heard in a trustworthy way. “
Campbell believed people were trying to invalidate Richardson, and she feared for her safety.
“It made me terrified of her and the other black athletes involved,” she said.
Campbell said she met with Duke athletics director Nina King this week to share her team’s demands for Duke management, including Duke track and field having a policy that if someone is in sports Racial slurs or hate speech are used at events, the game must be suspended until the person is removed and the current hate speech policy that applies to Duke student-athletes themselves is enhanced.
The yelling fan was banned from all sports venues on campus, BYU said. School leaders said BYU fans were sitting in the BYU student area, but not students.
In an updated statement, Brigham Young University said school officials spent hours reviewing video of the game and speaking with security and event managers, but they were unable to identify the perpetrator of the racial slur.
After the contest, BYU said Duke identified a person who they believed to be speaking slander, and that was someone who was banned.
“We know the Duke player’s experience is important here. They feel unsafe and injured and we can’t address that in an adequate way during the game,” BYU said.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Brigham Young University is asking anyone participating in the contest to share video and accounts of the contest to help with the investigation.