Father of volleyball player subjected to racism: ‘You have to call racism out at every turn’

Aug 28, 2022, 10:36 PM | Updated: Aug 29, 2022, 6:07 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Two days after a Duke University volleyball player was targeted with racial heckling at a game at Brigham Young University, the player’s father is urging everyone to call out racism whenever it happens. Those racial slurs led to one fan being banned from future games. The incident also prompted the BYU athletic director to accept accountability for the actions which he called, unacceptable and intolerable.

The athlete’s father said it takes courage for a community to eliminate racism.

“You have to call racism out at every turn. You can’t give ignorance a pass,” Marvin Richardson, the father of the Duke volleyball player who was targeted said.

There’s been a lot of reaction to the incident on social media and support for the volleyball player, Rachel Richardson.

In a virtual interview from Maryland, her father said having this conversation right now is one way to make progress.

“We are not acting as if it’s OK, because it is not, and we are exposing it for what it is which is wrong, which is hateful which is unacceptable,” Marvin Richardson said.

He said he first learned his daughter had been targeted with racial slurs when she called him from the bus after the game with BYU.

“When she called me, she was crying,” he said.

He said the full extent of what had happened to her was sinking in. The father has experienced racism and always hoped his children would not face the same.

“Here it is 2022, and those same words are being used in a college athletic venue. That’s just not right,” Richardson said.

On social media statement, Rachel Richardson wrote that she and her fellow African-American teammates were “targeted and racially heckled throughout the entirety of the match. The slurs and comments grew into threats which caused us to feel unsafe.”

She wrote that officials and BYU coaches were made aware.. but “failed to take the necessary steps to stop the unacceptable behavior and create a safe environment.”

But, she also credited athletic director Tom Holmoe for addressing the issue publicly the next night.

“It’s our mission to love one another and treat everybody with respect. And that didn’t happen,” he said to the crowd Saturday. “We fell very short.”

“My gut reaction was… Not again. We’ve had this happen before,” said Jeanetta Williams, president of the NAACP Salt Lake.

She says recurring incidents like this make the whole state look bad.

“Players from outside of Utah don’t want to come play here in Utah, Williams said. “Utah has a bad reputation that it is a racist state and people don’t want to come here.”

Her office regularly receives complaints about racial slurs, she said.

“We see it at schools, on the playground, even after school. Different places. It just happens all the time it just has to stop,” Williams said. “When you hear something, you see something, say something.”

She thinks the fans sitting near the heckler should have said something. Rachel Richardson’s father agrees.

“If you call it out for what it is, and I call it out for what it is, and we don’t stand by and allow these things to happen then we take the normality out of it,” Marvin Richardson said. “That’s not normal that’s not acceptable.”

In her statement, Rachel Richardson also said “it is not enough to indicate that you are not a racist, instead you must demonstrate that you are anti-racist.” She also said she does not believe this incident is a reflection of what the BYU athletes stand for.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(Derek Petersen/KSL TV)...
Casey Scott, KSL TV

Ogden High community supporting football coach after ALS diagnosis

Casey Scott was live at Ogden High School on Monday, talking about one beloved football coach and what it means to be Thompson Tough.
29 days ago
(Salt Lake City Police Department)...
Josh Ellis

Police: Three arrested after aggravated robbery in SLC

Three people who allegedly worked together to rob a man at gunpoint at a Salt Lake City hotel have been arrested, according to police.
29 days ago
(John Knecht)...
Josh Ellis

Two children, driver killed in Provo auto-pedestrian crash

Two children under the age of 11 and one adult have died following a crash, according to Provo police.
29 days ago
Charles Jerome Glover with his family (Josh Unice/GoFundMe.com)...
Kiersten Nunez

Young father killed in Tooele County race

A young father was killed this weekend after a terrible accident at a desert-type race in Tooele County.
1 month ago
FILE: Outside the decommissioned Draper Prison....
Eliza Pace

Utah inmate death being investigated as homicide

A man's death at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison is being investigated as a homicide.
1 month ago
Eliza Pace

Man in custody for kidnapping woman, holding three people against their will

A man was arrested after allegedly kidnapping a woman at gunpoint and holding three other victims against their will. 
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
Father of volleyball player subjected to racism: ‘You have to call racism out at every turn’