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College coach who fell for race hoax claims team was called ‘monkeys’

She stood by false racism accusation – but wants her players treated fairly

The head coach of the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team said that her players have been called “monkeys.” Furthermore, she wants the media to treat her team fairly, even though she herself promoted and stood by false claims of racism made against Brigham Young University fans.

Coach Dawn Staley made the comments at a press conference after her team lost to the University of Iowa in the Final Four.

Staley previously canceled a game against BYU after Duke University volleyball player Rachel Richardson claimed that fans called her racial slurs while playing against the Mormon school.

Even after an official BYU investigation and independent student reporting debunked those claims, Staley stood by her decision. She had previously claimed she had “vetted” Richardson’s claims. BYU officials retracted a punishment against a special needs individual they had falsely claimed hurled the racial slurs.

Now it is Staley who said her players had been subjected to racial taunts.

“We’re not bar fighters. We’re not thugs. We’re not monkeys. We’re not street fighters,” Staley said at a press conference. “So watch what you say when you’re in public and you’re talking about my team in particular.”

She also said:

Some of the people in the media, when you’re gathering in public, you’re saying things about our team, and you’re being heard. And it’s being brought back to me. And these are the people that write nationally for our sport. So, you can not like our team, and you can not like me. But when you say things that you probably should be saying in your home on the phone or texting, out in public – and you’re being heard – and you are a national writer for our sport, it just confirms what we already know.

“So, don’t judge us by the color of our skin,” Staley said. “Judge us by how we approach the game. And you may not like how we play the game. You may not like it. That’s the way we play. That’s the way I coach. I’m not changing.”

Staley wants her players treated fairly – and that’s a good thing. She should consider extending the same charity to Brigham Young University and apologize for falsely maligning its fans as racists.

MORE: Another claim of racist slurs from fans falls apart

IMAGE: News 19 WLTX/YouTube

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.