PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After the University of Oregon released an apology regarding a group of fans shouting offensive chants during the Ducks football game against BYU on Saturday, the UO president and athletic director further condemned the fans’ behavior on Monday.
A video circulated on social media Saturday of fans in the Oregon student section chanting “F— the Mormons” during the Ducks’ 41-21 victory against BYU Saturday. The university tweeted out an apology on Sunday, saying in part that “these types of actions go against everything the university stands for, and it goes against the spirit of competition. We can and will do better as a campus community that has no place for hate, bias or bigotry.”
Patrick Phillips, the interim president at UO, addressed the incident in a letter to the Oregon community. In the letter, Phillips expressed disappointment in the action of some of the fans, especially after BYU honored former Oregon tight end Spencer Webb before the game. Webb died in a climbing accident in July.
“I condemn the behavior of these fans on Saturday. It angers me. It disgusts me. It also provides a moment to remind ourselves that these actions, as well as any other actions of a similar flavor, are anathema to who we are as a community. These types of incidents call upon us to stand up against such behavior when we witness it—a task made easier when we stand together. This is who we seek to be as a university, and the standard to which we hold ourselves. We will continue to educate our community about our values and how to live them in words and actions,” he said.
Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens made an appearance on the Oregon Sports Network on Monday where he made a public apology to BYU, a private university owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“That is not who we are. That is not what we stand for. We take it very seriously. We love having passion and pageantry around college football but there’s no place for that kind of chant in or around anywhere in the world and we certainly don’t want to see it in our venues. That’s not who we are. That’s not what we represent as an athletic department, as a university, as a community. We need to stand together to stand against that kind of hate and that kind of bigotry,” Mullens said.
BYU also released a statement Monday regarding the UO apology.
“We appreciate the sincere apology from the University of Oregon regarding the behavior of some fans at Autzen Stadium on Saturday. We recognize that this isolated behavior does not reflect the values of the University of Oregon. As we all work together to address incidents that seek to divide us, we are grateful for those who are willing to come together to build bridges of understanding,” the statement said.