Every year, Aubrey and her friends get together to attend a BYU away game. This year, they chose Saturday’s game at Autzen Stadium.
“I was just excited,” Aubrey said. “I know Oregon’s a great football program.”
Dressed in her BYU blue, she sat just a few seats across from the student section. Within the first half, she says the student section started what sounded like an offensive chant. She took video and posted it on Twitter.
“Shortly after the game started, my friend actually heard the chant first,” Aubrey explained. “She leaned over and asked, ‘Are they saying such and such?’”
Then, they heard it again and again: “F*** the Mormons.”
Aubrey said, “I was disappointed, but I didn’t think it would continue.”
Aubrey, who’s Mormon, said five different times throughout the game, the chant was heard. By the fifth time, it wasn’t as loud.
“It’s disappointing to hear that chant because we live in a country where we have freedom of religion and as an extension of that, we should be respectful of everyone’s religion,” Aubrey explained.
She said she even tried to tell a crowd control staff member, but was initially laughed off.
The official Twitter account for the Oregon Pit Crew — the student section — sent a tweet out Saturday evening that said in part, “We do not condone or support any hateful speech directed towards one’s religion and are ashamed of those who participated.”
The incident even drew a reaction from both Utah and Oregon governors.
Utah’s Governor Spencer Cox tweeted the video saying, “Religious bigotry alive and celebrated in Oregon.”
Oregon Governor Kate Brown said “We must do better.”
University of Oregon’s apology came Sunday morning:
“The University of Oregon sincerely apologizes for an offensive and disgraceful chant coming from the student section during yesterday’s game against Brigham Young University.
“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.”
Aubrey said, “Mormons are quite often the butt of jokes and people just think it’s okay to make fun of us and it’s not.”
What was meant to be a memorable experience at Autzen will be, but for the wrong reasons.
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