Recently, the BYU women’s volleyball team hosted the Duke University women’s volleyball team for a match. During the match, members of the home crowd hurled racial slurs at a member of the Duke team. Nothing was done to stop the attacks. Apparently, security was assigned to Duke’s bench because the player’s safety was threatened, yet the match continued without interruption. If it was bad enough that security was not only notified but mobilized to protect the victim. Why was the match not interrupted and the abuse addressed?
As a coach, it is easy to say what should have happened or what you would have done. In the heat of the moment, it is much more difficult to take those actions. So we cannot spend our energy saying, the coach should have done this and the referee’s should have done that. The fact is BYU’s AD addressed the crowd at a later time and one fan was banned from attending further competitions. We will never know how or when the fan was identified and subsequently banned instead of being removed from the competition. We can question whether the AD’s address, went far enough, to most it did not.
So you can make your own decision the link below will take you to a video of the AD’s address the crowd the next night:
The repercussions of this even are uncertain. Surely, there will be some. The least of which, may already have occurred. BYU Dawn Staley and the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team have cancelled a home and home series that was to be this year’s home opener. Staley said that she reevaluated after the incident and she did feel that “this is the right time for us to engage in this series.”
We think we know what we would do in the heat of the battle. It takes courage and conviction to follow through with those thoughts. We are under an obligation to protect, so I wish anyone in the situation the strength to do the right thing.
I wish anyone outside the situation but knowing they may be going into the situation the strength to deny the opportunity to the hate mongers.
We must always be ready to stand up to hate.