As Twitchy reported, on August 30, the media lit up with a story about how someone in the stands at a volleyball game between Duke and Brigham Young University shouted a racial slur at Duke’s Rachel Richardson. The incident made “Good Morning America,” MSNBC, USA Today, and CNN, where Richardson’s father was interviewed. Campus police investigated and cleared the fan who was banned. Video didn’t show any such incident. No one in the stands heard it either. In other words, it didn’t happen.
We mentioned that USA Today covered it; Mike Freeman wrote a column about it:
A young Black woman named Rachel Richardson is a victim, but she’s also more than that. She’s a hero surrounded by a lot of people who failed her.
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) August 28, 2022
Now that the story’s been thoroughly debunked, Freeman is back with another column — not retracting his previous column but instead calling it a right-wing conspiracy to deny that it happened.
If you doubt that a Duke women’s volleyball player was racially insulted during a match at BYU you are a “right wing conspiracy theorist” according to the rapidly dying @USATODAY newspaper: https://t.co/k2a2Ek481G
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) September 8, 2022
Ian Miller writes for Outkick:
But that’s not far enough for Mike Freeman, who, in classic activist fashion, compared questioning Robinson’s story to a ”Right-wing conspiracy theory” and QAnon.
Freeman claimed he would “break down the absurdity of it all,” but his first example of why to believe her is possibly the most absurd thing you’ll read all day.
According to him, one of the main reasons why she couldn’t be wrong about what she heard is that she called her father in tears after the match.
The interview with her father, on CNN naturally, says that the call with Rachel wasn’t normal:
“After the game, she called,” he said, “and this was a different call.”
This is supposedly part of the “proof” that it happened.
QAnon, really? As Miller writes, “She absolutely would let friends or family go on national television and tell the story, because that’s the whole point.”
Freeman desperately wants this story to be true.
It’s Duke. What else do you expect??
— Griff (@grifftg6335) September 8, 2022
Figured Duke would learn from their $80 million settlement with the lacrosse players.
— Steve (@Steve_Stuck) September 8, 2022
No one else heard it, reacted to it, recorded it on their phone. Posted or tweeted about it. Just her and her GM. In the age of social media, someone would have said something.
— Richard Feder (@AgentSY92020) September 8, 2022
She’s 100 percent lying
— Kenny Powers (@soicy69) September 8, 2022
I believe her like I believe Juicy Smollett
— Jimmy Van Baxter (@JimmyVanBaxter) September 8, 2022
I’m not “doubting” it. I’m formally calling it out as a hoax.
— Walmart UNC Fan Finder (@UncFinder) September 8, 2022
Investigation revealed it didn’t happen. How does the accused man get his reputation back. Video tape cleared him.
— CarolinaDriver (@DriverCarolina) September 8, 2022
Why does anyone think this crap helps?
— Thank You Wyoming (@denverfrogTCU) September 8, 2022
It doesn’t help. But when you go all-in on a story and make somebody a “hero,” you’ve got to stick by your story.
Boston Globe writer says that the ‘latest racial incident’ at volleyball game doesn’t help Utah’s reputation https://t.co/zbf5BmflOO
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) September 2, 2022