BYU reinstates fan who was banned for life after investigation finds no evidence of racial slurs
Volleyball player Rachel Richardson / Duke University.

Outrage erupted last month after a fan allegedly yelled racial slurs at a Black player on the Duke volleyball team during a game held at Brigham Young University. The fan, who was reportedly not a student at BYU but sat in the student section, was banned for life from attending games after the alleged incident.

But an investigation after the fact determined that the man in question was wrongly accused.

The player, Rachel Richardson, who is the only Black starter on the team, was called a racial slur “every time she served,” according to Richardson’s godmother, Lesa Pamplin, who made the accusations in a tweet that has now been hidden. Pamplin is a Democratic candidate for the Number 5 judge of the Tarrant County Criminal Court in Texas.

In a lengthy statement posted to Twitter, Rachel Richardson added that "both the officials and BYU coaching staff were made aware of the incident during the game, but failed to take necessary steps to stop the unacceptable behavior."

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BYU's investigation found no evidence that any slurs were ever uttered. BYU Police Lt. George Besendorfer said a review of surveillance footage of the crowd shows the man who was banned wasn’t shouting anything while the Duke player was serving.

“When we watched the video, we did not observe that behavior from him,” he said.

In a statement, the university officially announced that the accusations were unfounded and has unbanned the man who was originally accused.

"We have not found any evidence that the individual engaged in such an activity," the statement read. "BYU sincerely apologizes to that fan for any hardship the ban has caused."