Utah head coach reveals team faced ‘racial hate crimes’ at NCAA tournament hotel – FirstSportz

NCAA March Madness is a tournament that brings together players and coaches from all backgrounds. But the head coach Linda Roberts of the Utah Utes women’s basketball team made some troubling comments. She revealed that some racial hate crimes were committed against them at her hotel.

The hotel incident led to the unfortunate circumstance of changing hotels. The coach spoke to journalists at the post-match press conference. This is what she said:

Our team hotel was in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, which is not very close, so that was a little strange. We had several instances of racial hate crimes towards our program. Incredibly upsetting for all of us. Racism is real and it happens and it's awful. For our players and staff to not feel safe in an NCAA Tournament environment, it's messed up....and so we moved hotels. It was a distraction and upsetting and unfortunate.

Lynne Roberts via post-game press conference

Coach Lynne Roberts confirmed these incidents occurred multiple times Thursday night. This forced them to leave the hotel on Friday as it deeply upset their players and staff.

The incident has left a black mark on the NCAA Tournament, as these types of situations should not have happened. Coach Roberts suggested that having to stay in a far away hotel seemed strange. After all, teams are supposed to be close to arenas. But he credited host university Gonzaga and the NCAA for getting them another hotel.

He said the university environment was generally quite diverse. Hence, his players and staff did not know how to respond to that situation. This incident has caused embarrassment to Gonzaga and the NCAA.

Utah Utes against Gonzaga Bulldogs amid a context of racial hatred

The game between the Utah Utes and the Gonzaga Bulldogs was supposed to be a big showdown. Both the Bulldogs and Utes featured players from diverse backgrounds. star utes Alissa Pili He is of Samoan-Alaskan heritage. Some of his teammates are from different parts of the world. The Utes were the favorites to dominate the Bulldogs.

However, Gonzaga, led by the Truong twins, managed to eclipse the Utes 77-66. Playing at home with a rowdy crowd behind them, the Bulldogs pulled away from the Utah Utes behind a barrage of long-distance shots.

It was admirable for Coach Roberts to talk about the incidents after the loss. If he had talked about it earlier, it might have led to unwanted arguments during the tournament. However, as she said, there is no place for racism in sport.

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