A woman who’s a fan of the University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball team has been punished after she was seen calling someone the N-word during a game.
The woman has been identified as Ashley Lyles, a well-known Kentucky sports fan, and she hurled the racial slur toward a man named Ethan Williams, who filmed her.
They were both at a game on Tuesday between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Tennessee Volunteers in the Wildcats’ Rupp Arena.
Kentucky lost the game 81-73, and toward the end of it Lyles and a man began to leave, and Williams taunted them some.
“If you didn’t win I can’t hear you,” he yelled. “Why are you leaving?”
The guy with her then waved as if to tell Williams to approach him. Then Lyles spoke up.
“N—a ass,” she yelled.
After the video surfaced, Lyles gave the obligatory apology that’s often given when someone gets caught displaying racist behavior.
“My reaction after the game was unacceptable, period,” she told LEX 18. “It was against all values of the university and state of Kentucky. I humbly apologize to the individuals at which my words were directed.”
“My words were hurtful and hateful and have no place in this world,” she added. “I apologize to the university and state of Kentucky for the embarrassment I have caused. I want my apology not just to be in words, but in actions moving forward.”
Kentucky’s athletics director Mitch Barnhart also issued a statement after the video surfaced and expressed his disgust.
“An incident like the one that took place last night at Rupp Arena has no place at the University of Kentucky,” tweeted Barnhart on Wednesday. “There will be consequences for this unacceptable behavior and they will be announced once communicated to the offending party.”
“While the person in question is not a season ticket holder, there are still ways to ensure those actions are not repeated at future UK events,” he added. “We also have reached out to the patron who was the victim of this abusive and inexcusable language to apologize personally. That’s not who we are as an athletics department.”
On Thursday, March 5, Lyles’ punishment was revealed.
“We have permanently revoked ticket privileges for all UK Athletics events from the person who made the abusive remark at Tuesday night’s game, effective immediately,” said Barnhart in a statement. “This misconduct is unacceptable, unwelcome at the University of Kentucky and not reflective of our values.”
Williams also addressed the incident during an interview with TMZ.
“There is no excuse for her actions,” he explained. “There were plenty of Kentucky fans around before her that said good game and headed out, but she made a conscious effort to make the comments that she made.”
“I felt like it needed to be shared and that the university needed to be made aware of the incident, because it’s 2020 and competitions should be able to be enjoyed by all fans,” added Williams.