Volleyball team forfeits match vs. BYU after alleged racist incident

The University of Pacific volleyball team has elected to forfeit its match against BYU after a fan was accused of making racist comments toward a Duke volleyball player in August.

‘The volleyball team has decided to not play the November 10 game at BYU,’ the school’s senior communications director Mike Klocke said in a statement Monday night. ‘The team expressed concerns following reports of racist and hostile comments during an August 26 match. Pacific stands with our student-athletes.’

Since the alleged incident, BYU conducted an investigation and found no evidence to ‘corroborate the allegation that fans engaged in racial heckling or uttered racial slurs at the event.’

BYU released the following statement:

‘The University of the Pacific’s decision to forfeit this week’s women’s volleyball match is unwarranted and deeply disappointing. Following the Aug. 26 allegation, BYU conducted an extensive review and found no evidence to corroborate this allegation. As we have stated previously, BYU will not tolerate any conduct that would make a student-athlete feel unsafe in our athletic environments. It is unfortunate that Pacific would make a decision that perpetuates the very challenge we are working to heal in our polarized society.’

The August incident has led to more damning accusations, including Southern California women’s soccer players stating BYU fans directed racial slurs at them after players kneeled during the national anthem in August 2021.

The latest volleyball cancellation comes weeks after Dawn Staley, South Carolina women’s basketball coach also canceled a series with BYU.

“As a head coach, my job is to do what’s best for my players and staff,” Staley said in a statement released by South Carolina. ‘The incident at BYU has led me to reevaluate our home-and-home, and I don’t feel that this is the right time for us to engage in this series.”

Contact Analis Bailey at aabailey@usatoday.com or on Twitter @analisbailey.

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