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Duke player 'felt heard' in conversation with BYU athletic director

Posted at 4:10 PM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-30 18:29:42-04

DURHAM, N.C. — The Duke volleyball player who was the target of racial slurs during a BYU home game praised a school official in a new interview.

Speaking with ESPN on Tuesday, Rachel Richardson recounted her conversations with BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe following the incident last weekend and how the school dealt with the issue.

WATCH: Activists respond to incident of fan using racial slurs at BYU volleyball game

Richardson said Holmoe came to the Duke hotel on Sunday morning to talk with her.

"One thing I can say is he's probably one of the most genuine people that I've ever met. I very much so felt heard and felt seen during that conversation. I could see like how sorry he was and honestly shocked that it happened." she said in the interview with Holly Rowe.

Back at school in North Carolina, Richardson added that she had heard from BYU volleyball players and other students since the incident that resulted in a Cougars fan being banned from athletic events.

"...the fact that they're comfortable enough to reach out to me and let me know that they're still in support of me, just shows to prove like how good of people they truly are," Richardson said.

Following the incident, BYU announced it will no longer fans to sit behind the opponent's baseline during volleyball games. The school has also made changes to the fan code of conduct that all those attending sporting events must adhere to.

During the interview, Richardson shared that she places none of the blame on what happened on the shoulders of BYU athletic officials.

"I already told the coach and the athletic director, you know, I forgive you and it wasn't your fault that it happened. It was your fans. So you didn't do anything to wrong me," she said.

The sophomore from Maryland who made the ACC Academic Honor Roll last season added that while the situation may have been handled poorly during the game, she wants all parties to move forward.