Editor’s Note: We discussed this topic on the Live Show (9:40)
Breaking News – the fake hate crime at a BYU-Duke women’s volleyball game that was first exposed on TB Daily News 11 days ago has officially been ruled a hoax after a thorough investigation by BYU:
A statement from BYU Athletics regarding the investigation of the Aug. 26 volleyball match, examining our fan behavior and response.https://t.co/Vj3HlW6xzV
— BYU Cougars (@BYUCougars) September 9, 2022
I did a lot of research into the latest fake hate crime during a BYU-Duke volleyball game. Let's take a look. https://t.co/ioFRopGWph
— AidanKearneyTB (@DoctorTurtleboy) August 29, 2022
Of course logic and common sense should’ve told you that. That and the fact that several black BYU basketball players were in the small student section and didn’t hear a racial slur once.
Just a reminder that several black BYU basketball players were in the small student section where Rachel Richardson lied and said the n word was coming from. All of them adamantly denied hearing that word. pic.twitter.com/OahWO2kAha
— AidanKearneyTB (@DoctorTurtleboy) September 9, 2022
According to BYU’s extensive review, in which they interviewed dozens of people and analyzed the entire game audio with the announcers muted, Rachel Richardson made the whole thing up.
We reviewed all available video and audio recordings, including security footage and raw footage from all camera angles taken by BYUtv of the match, with broadcasting audio removed (to ensure that the noise from the stands could be heard more clearly). We also reached out to more than 50 individuals who attended the event: Duke athletic department personnel and student-athletes, BYU athletic department personnel and student-athletes, event security and management and fans who were in the arena that evening, including many of the fans in the on-court student section.
The most important part of that statement is that they spoke with Duke players, coaches, and athletic department personnel, and not one of them heard any racial slurs. Yet Rachel Richardson repeatedly said in her statement, and later in an interview with ESPN, that both her and her black teammates heard the slurs the entire game.
— rachel ♡ (@rachrich03) August 28, 2022
— Holly Rowe (@sportsiren) August 30, 2022
But yet Duke is still standing by her. This was the entirety of their statement:
The 18 members of the Duke University volleyball team are exceptionally strong women who represent themselves, their families, and Duke University with the utmost integrity. We unequivocally stand with and champion them, especially when their character is called into question. Duke Athletics believes in respect, equality and inclusiveness, and we do not tolerate hate and bias.” #HateWontLiveHere
Statement from Duke University Vice President & Director of Athletics Nina Kinghttps://t.co/EqNsfr7p02
— Duke Athletics (@DukeATHLETICS) September 9, 2022
Duke unequivocally stands with their 18 volleyball players, which includes Rachel Richardson, especially when their “character is called into question.” Richardson’s character has been called into question by BYU as a result of their investigation, which means Duke is calling them liars. They’re telling BYU that they have no right to investigate whether or not a racial incident happened on their campus. They must simply bow their heads in shame and sign up everyone for more DEI training.
Yet even amongst BYU fans I’m seeing people make excuses for this girl:
I fully believe Rachel Richardson. And I fully believe @BYU.
Life is complicated like that sometimes. Historians deal with this all the time — multiple reliable sources that reveal apparently contradictory things.
What's uncomplicated is the ongoing need to root out racism. https://t.co/FgQ16NlA0R
— Patrick Mason (@patrickqmason) September 9, 2022
“I believe Jussie Smollett and I believe the Chicago Police.”
You can’t. You’re just a coward who is too afraid of calling a 19 year old black girl a liar because you fear the social consequences for telling the truth.
Conservatives bent over backwards to come up with ways to simultaneously say that it never happened, and that Rachel Richardson wasn’t a liar. The most common refrain was “maybe she thought she heard (insert word here that sounds like the n word).”
I thought that was the most likely option. However, as I noted in this week’s newsletter, the Duke player and her Godmother made that possibility difficult to accept because their statements claimed there were racial slurs being hurled repeatedly throughout the match. https://t.co/SH82tcZf7L
— AG (@AGHamilton29) September 9, 2022
Stop making excuses for shitty people and giving them the benefit of the doubt. The n word isn’t a word you mishear. She lied. Call her a liar or your opinions are meaningless.
Rachel couldn’t wait to throw BYU under the bus for “failing to adequately address the situation immediately.”
She put herself on a Christ-like pedestal, stating that it was her job to “call up” and educate BYU, rather than call them out.
The New York Times interviewed her and she made it seem like the gym was a racist tinderbox where she was about to be lynched.
She did all of this because two days earlier Duke completed a diversity, equity, and inclusion training with a company called A Long Talk, which taught her how to be an activist. She then repeatedly demanded that BYU force not just their athletes and staff, but also their students, to sit through a similar training.
“It shouldn’t be that hard to get a couple hundred students to sit through a seminar.”
She damaged the reputations of thousands upon thousands of people in the BYU community, and there will be no consequences for her.
USA Today labeled people like me as right wing extremists for asking questions and drawing obvious conclusions.
"In many ways, this story is about race and how Black people have to constantly prove we're not criminals or liars," writes @usatodaysports' @mikefreemanNFL.
"To many of these people, Richardson's word doesn't mean anything."https://t.co/r4Lk6VgaNj
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) September 7, 2022
And they’ll do it again the next time someone makes up a story like this because they never learn, they would prefer to pretend to be living in an overtly racist country, and there are no social consequences for spreading racial hoax lies.
Damnit…..this needed to be said! pic.twitter.com/kIn0YemGnj
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) August 31, 2022
In their statement BYU admitted that the special needs student they defamed and banned from the arena would be allowed back, since Rachel Richardson lied about him.
As a result of our investigation, we have lifted the ban on the fan who was identified as having uttered racial slurs during the match. We have not found any evidence that that individual engaged in such an activity. BYU sincerely apologizes to that fan for any hardship the ban has caused.
But the whole statement was meaningless because of this part:
Our fight is against racism, not against any individual or any institution. Each person impacted has strong feelings and experiences, which we honor, and we encourage others to show similar civility and respect. We remain committed to rooting out racism wherever it is found. We hope we can all join together in that important fight.
There is no need to condemn racism when no racism occurred. Your fight isn’t against racism, because there was no racism. Your fight should be against the individual that made up the lie, and the institutions in the media that perpetuated it.
AD Tom Holmoe should resign over his role in this too:
Before tonight’s game, I felt compelled to talk to our fans in attendance and address last night’s very unfortunate incident. Cougar Nation, we’ve got to be better, and we’ve got to have the courage to take care of each other and our guests at our BYU sporting events. pic.twitter.com/5qsze8i51G
— Tom Holmoe (@TomHolmoe) August 28, 2022
“We’ve got to be better.”
No, actually they don’t. You do though. The students did nothing wrong, yet they were lectured as if they were all complicit in a hate crime. Resign.
The results of this investigation are meaningless if BYU and Duke are afraid to take the next step and call Rachel Richardson what she is – a liar. No school should play Duke in any sports until they expel her. If the punishment for being a racist on campus is expulsion then the punishment for someone who makes up a racist hate crime should be the same.