Media largely ignore anti-Mormon chant during Oregon-BYU game

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Media outlets like CNN and MSNBC ignored the recent incident involving Oregon Ducks fans shouting obscenities during a college football game on Saturday.

Over the weekend, videos emerged of Oregon fans loudly chanting “f — Mormons” during a game against Brigham Young University, a private school sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox, R., shared a video of fans singing on his Twitter account, calling the chanting an example of religious bigotry.

“Religious bigotry is alive and celebrated in Oregon,” Cox tweeted.

Bo Nix #10 of the Oregon Ducks passes the ball during the first half of the game against the Eastern Washington Eagles at Autzen Stadium on September 10, 2022 in Eugene, Oregon.
(Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

UTAH GOVERNOR SLAMS OREGON FANS FOR OBSCENE SONG AT BYU FOOTBALL GAME

The Oregon Pit, the student chapter of the University of Oregon, later apologized on Twitter shortly after the videos were posted.

“To all @BYUfootball fans in attendance at today’s game, we would like to apologize for the actions of the students in attendance. We do not condone or support any hate speech directed against his religion and are ashamed of those who participated,” he tweeted.

The acting vice president of the University of Oregon Division of Student Life also released a statement.

“The university apologizes for the despicable chants sung by some University of Oregon fans during today’s football game with Brigham Young University. There is no room for the hate, prejudice, or bigotry at the University of Oregon. These actions are simply unacceptable. We will investigate, and we call on our students and the campus community to refuse to accept or condone this type of behavior.” , the statement said.

Although Oregon was quick to respond after the videos were released, mainstream media largely ignored the incident and the university’s apology. MSNBC and CNN had no report on the event, although NBC reported the story on Sunday afternoon.

A University of Oregon representative apologized on Saturday after a video posted to social media showed fans of the school’s football team chanting an expletive addressed to University fans. Brigham Young, a private Latter-day Church of Jesus Christ Saints, during an inter-college football game earlier that day,” Julianne McShane reported.

General view of LaVell Edwards Stadium before the game between the Utah Utes and the Brigham Young Cougars on September 9, 2017 in Provo, Utah.

General view of LaVell Edwards Stadium before the game between the Utah Utes and the Brigham Young Cougars on September 9, 2017 in Provo, Utah.
(Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

The New York Times and The Washington Post also remained silent on the story, although The Washington Post reported on the game on Thursday.

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This contrasted with reports of a racial slur allegedly hurled at a black female volleyball player at Duke University last month. Rachel Richardson claimed that during a game against Brigham Young University, she heard a fan shout the n-word at her “all game long”. Shortly after her claim went viral, BYU apologized for the alleged incident and removed and banned the alleged fan who turned out to be a Utah Valley University student.

However, an investigation into the event could not corroborate Richardson’s story, and several witnesses said they did not hear any racial slurs during the game. So far, no video has ever emerged of the insult being used.

The media was quick to report the story. The ABC News website published at least three stories about the allegations and featured Richardson on “Good Morning America.” CNN featured several segments on the topic, including interviews with Richardson’s father, former NAACP President Cornell William Brooks and BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe. The story was also widely broadcast on ESPN.

After BYU’s investigation found no evidence to support Richardson’s claim, some media outlets provided an update on the investigation. CNN’s John Avalon did a segment criticizing the media’s rush to report the story before verifying it themselves.

“Truthfulness to the facts is all we journalists and citizens should ask for,” Avlon said. “It’s understandable that there’s a desire to believe people when they say they’ve been victimized, but the charges need to be backed up by facts and where the facts don’t match up on closer examination, we need to hand over the clocks tick with as much intensity as the initial reports.”

CNN gave extensive on-air coverage to the racial slur accusation made by Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson.  (CNN)

CNN gave extensive on-air coverage to the racial slur accusation made by Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson. (CNN)
(CNN)

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Brigham Young University was also subjected to obscene chants of “f— the Mormons” last year during a football game against the USC Trojans. Although no video emerged of the chant, the school later released a statement apologizing for the “tasteless” event.

“Our student chapter’s offensive chant directed at BYU in last night’s football game does not align with our Trojan values,” USC wrote at the time.

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