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Coach Says Girl Basketball Team Had To Switch Hotels After Racist Attacks During NCAA Tournament 

The University of Utah's women's basketball team encountered a series of racial hate crimes in Idaho, leading to their relocation for hotels at the NCAA Tournament. Coach Lynne Roberts reported incidents targeting the team's diverse athletes in Spokane, prompting a move from Coeur d'Alene to a safer hotel.

"Racism is real and it happens and it's awful," Roberts told reporters. "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."

Utah's deputy athletics director, Charmelle Green, described an alarming incident where individuals in trucks hurled racial slurs at the team. Charmelle Green, the Deputy Athletics Director of Utah and an African American, reported to KSL News in Salt Lake City that the team, including band members and cheerleaders, were en route to a nearby restaurant for a meal when an individual in a white truck approached the group. The driver then loudly revved the engine and shouted a racial slur before quickly driving off.

"We all just were in shock, and we looked at each other like, did we just hear that?" Green said. "We kept walking, just shaking our heads, like, 'I can't believe that. "I got emotional and started to cry. I was just numb the entire night." 

In a statement, Gonzaga University officials acknowledged the situation in a social media post where they showed support for the team.

"Hate speech in any form is repugnant, shameful and must never be tolerated. We worked hard to secure the opportunity to serve as the host institution, and our first priority is and must be the safety and welfare of all student-athletes, coaches, families and supporting staff."

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Link: NBCNews


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