Racial slur was used against University of Utah women’s basketball team, Coeur d’Alene detectives say

[ad_1]

Detectives with the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, police department said a racial slur was used against the University of Utah women’s basketball team while the team was staying in the city for the women’s NCAA Tournament.

“We’ve identified an audio recording where the use of a racial slur was clearly audible,” the police department said on Facebook. It added that it “appears the use of a racial slur occurred more than one time.”

In the Facebook post, the Coeur d’Alene Police Department said it is still investigating last month’s incident, in which Utah coach Lynne Roberts said her team of Black, white and Latina athletes were subject to a series of “racial hate crimes” on March 21 while they were staying in Idaho ahead of their first NCAA Tournament game in Spokane, Washington, on March 23.

The incident prompted the team to move to a hotel closer to the host city for their safety.

Police said they have conducted interviews and collected around 35 hours of video from businesses in the area where the incidents occurred. The agency said some of the video and audio collected “corroborates what was reported by members of the basketball program and detectives are currently working to locate any additional evidence.”

The agency also said it is trying to “determine the context and conduct associated with” the use of the racial slur to determine if it was used in violation of the law.

Detectives with the police department are also working to identify a suspect and establish a timeframe based on the various videos available. Police said they are looking for a silver sedan that was in the area at the time of the incident.

Utah athletics officials have said that while the basketball team, band members and cheerleaders were going out to dinner on the night of March 21, a driver revved their engine and yelled the N-word at the group.

When the group left the restaurant later that evening, two trucks approached them and, again, the drivers revved their engines and yelled the N-word at them, the Utah athletics officials said.

Utah was one of three teams staying in Coeur d’Alene for the tournament, despite the games being played in Spokane, which is about 35 minutes away, due to a lack of hotel space in the area.

Roberts said that the NCAA and Gonzaga, the host school, helped move her team to a different hotel.

Roberts brought the incident to national attention last week during a news conference.

“Racism is real and it happens and it’s awful,” Roberts told reporters on March 25. “For our players, whether they are white, Black, green, whatever — no one knew how to handle it. And it was really upsetting. And for our players and staff to not feel safe in an NCAA tournament environment, it’s messed up.”

[ad_2]

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *