Five anonymous soccer players say fans chanted a racial slur at them during a 2021 soccer match at BYU, according to an article by the Guardian.
The players from the unnamed visiting school said some fans chanted “stand up, N-words” when the players knelt for the national anthem, per the report. The BYU women’s soccer coach was told, the Guardian said, and asked for another announcement in the stadium to be made about fan behavior.
A BYU spokesperson said the school had not heard the allegations until contacted during the reporting of the story.
“The Guardian’s inquiry was the first time we heard this specific concern,” Jon McBride, BYU’s associate athletic director, said in a statement. “The night of the match, which occurred over a year ago, BYU responded to a concern from a visiting coach about fan reaction when players knelt during the national anthem. A public announcement, similar to one made earlier, reminding fans to be respectful was repeated, and the game proceeded.
“We are not aware of any additional concerns being brought up during the game or any time thereafter. Additionally, as we have stated, BYU will not tolerate racism in any form.”
The Guardian story comes one month after Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson said she was called the N-word at a volleyball match on BYU’s campus. An investigation by BYU found no evidence that racial slurs were used at the match.
The allegations, however, put the Provo university at the center of a national discussion on race and saw South Carolina women’s basketball cancel its series with BYU as a result of Richardson’s allegations.