Anti-Asian Hate Speech During USC Football Game


Current Status:
Monitoring

Although this situation may not be ongoing actively, the Racist & Bias Incident Response Team is working with appropriate departments to monitor and prevent future reoccurrence. Those who believe they have been the target of bias, intolerance or discrimination may report an incident to the public incident report form (bias and intolerance) or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (sexual misconduct and discrimination).

Please direct any questions or concerns in regard to this bias incident to the Special Assistant to the Chief Safety Officer at RBIresponse@utah.edu.

What happened

On October 17, 2022, an individual who attended the Utah-USC Football game on October 15, reported through the Racist and Bias Incident Response Team’s online reporting portal, that they were subjected to anti-Asian racist slurs and comments throughout the game. The individual, who is Asian American and lives in California, reported that they were repeatedly told to “go back to your country you ch**k.” The reporter did not include information about where they were seated or any information which may help identify who the individuals were that engaged in the conduct, other than they were “Utah Fans.”

What is being done

The incident has been reported to the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (OEO/AA) the Office of the Dean of Students Conduct teams, Stadium and Arena Services, as well as the Racist and Bias Incident Response Team (RBIRT).

The RBIRT reached out to the individual who reported the situation to gather more information that may help the University to look into the incident further, identify those involved or otherwise assist in addressing the situation, but they have thus far not responded or engaged with those efforts. While the university takes such reports seriously, little information was provided that could lead to further actionable steps.  

What to do

Be vigilant, speak up, and stand up for others. Stopping this type of behavior takes collective action, and bystander intervention efforts are one way of combatting such conduct that causes real harm. To learn more about how to incorporate bystander intervention into your toolkit, check out the information here: https://wellness.utah.edu/workshops-training/#bystander.

The FanUp campaign also encourages fans at home sporting events to be vigilant and report inappropriate, rude, or offensive fan behavior by texting “FANUP ” to 69050.

If you are interested in learning more about the variety of resources the U offers to support diversity and inclusion, please visit the Office of the Dean of Students in the Union Building, Room 270, deanofstudents@utah.edu, 801-581-7066, or Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Park Building, Room 208, or https://diversity.utah.edu/our-team/. To make a report of a racist or bias incident, visit the public reporting form

The U is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion and creating a welcoming, respectful and responsible environment during home athletic events

Acts like this demean individuals cause harm not only to visitors, but also our students’ and other community members’ sense of belonging. As we return to in person events, we are still striving to ensure that all our staff, students, trainees, faculty and other community members are able to find a place of safety and belonging as a part of our campus community. In a letter to the campus community from President Randall and Athletics Director Mark Harlan in September, they reminded our community “…that profanity, public intoxication, rude and disrespectful behavior, racial and derogatory comments or verbal attacks directed at individuals or groups will not be tolerated.” And asked for help holding fans accountable, “We encourage all of you to help us identify and call-out inappropriate behavior so that our event staff can ensure a safe and great experience for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and spectators. If you see something, say something!” We will continue to name the biased acts, investigate, provide education, and when appropriate, hold the perpetrators of these harmful acts accountable when they are identified. Additionally, we will continue efforts that uplift and celebrate our communities and enhance a sense of belonging on our campus.

Questions & Concerns

For any questions or concerns in regard to this bias incident, please contact Brian Jay Nicholls, Special Assistant to the Chief Safety Officer, at RBIresponse@utah.edu.

For additional reporting information, please feel free to visit here.

Response process
Support Resources

If you are currently in a situation where immediate medical, police or other emergency services are needed, call 911 or University Emergency Communications at 801-585-2677 (801-585-COPS). To file a complaint regarding discrimination or sexual harassment, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (OEO/AA) at 801-581-8365.

Support & resources
Report a Bias Incident

Any act of intolerance, motivated wholly or in part by bias or prejudice against an individual’s race, color, ethnicity, age, religion, size, disability, national origin, language, gender, veteran status, identity expression, sexual orientation or age—regardless of severity—can be reported using this form.

Submit a report