Racial Slurs Allegedly Hurled at Volleyball Team Days After Duke Incident

Racial slurs were allegedly yelled at a high school volleyball team in Texas, just a few days after a similar incident was reported in a college volleyball game between Duke University and Brigham Young University (BYU).

In a statement on Tuesday, the Hays High School volleyball team said that during a game last Friday against the volleyball team from the Comal Independent School District's Canyon High School, "there were multiple students from the student section using hateful and racial slurs towards many of our players on our team. It is unacceptable that students felt comfortable enough to degrade and berate our players with such derogatory and hateful language."

The statement continued, "Last Friday was not just an instance of 'kids being kids.' It is an example of blatant racism, and anyone who sat by or sits by and allows it to happen is equally as responsible as the students that used the inappropriate language to begin with. If you do not stand against racism, you stand with it."

The most recent incident comes just a few days after a volleyball player from Duke accused a BYU fan of yelling racial comments during a game between the two schools. Last week, Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson issued a statement on Twitter accusing a BYU fan of yelling racial slurs at her during a game.

In a statement following the incident, BYU Athletics announced that it had banned a fan and wrote, "We will not tolerate behavior of this kind. Specifically, the use of a racial slur at any of our athletic events is absolutely unacceptable and BYU Athletics holds a zero-tolerance approach to this behavior."

Volleyball
The ball hits the net during the main draw match between Austria and Canada at Pajucara Beach during the fourth day of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Maceio Open on February 26, 2016, in Maceio, Brazil. On September 2, the Hays High School volleyball team in Texas said that fans of an opposing school allegedly yelled racial slurs at their team. Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images for FIVB/Getty Images

In its statement on Tuesday, the Hays High School volleyball team said that they do not believe the opposing team "is at fault," but noted that "the students in the student section represent Canyon High School, and the administration did not adequately address the situation."

"We also feel that not enough was done to remedy the situation after our coaching staff brought the incident to the attention of the Canyon High School administrator on duty. It is unfortunate that our voices and concerns were not fully trusted, heard, and respected because adults did not hear the comments—only student-athletes heard. If the students involved could not be identified at that moment, the entire student section should have been removed," the statement added.

However, in a statement issued by the Comal Independent School District, acting Superintendent Mandy Epley said, "Allegedly, at last night's volleyball game at Canyon High School, members of the Canyon student section made highly inappropriate and demeaning racial comments towards members of the Hays High School volleyball team."

The statement continued, "Both the District and the Canyon High School administration are actively investigating these allegations. Should it be found that any one student, or group of students, made any sort of racial comments at any point during or after the game, they will be disciplined to the fullest extent possible....Comal ISD and Canyon High School will not tolerate this sort of behavior as it does not represent who we are as a District or as a campus."

The superintendent also apologized to the players on the opposing volleyball team, as well as to the school's community.

A spokesperson for the Comal ISD told Newsweek that the district is still investigating the incident. Newsweek was directed to the statement from the superintendent after reaching out for further comment.

Update 9/6/2022, 5:00 p.m. ET: This story was updated to include the response from Comal ISD.