U. of Oregon apologizes for “despicable chants” at Saturday football game

A representative for the University of Oregon apologized on Saturday after video posted to social media appeared to show fans of the school’s football team chanting an expletive directed at fans of Brigham Young University, a private university of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at a football game between the universities earlier the same day.

The chant targeted members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who are known as Mormons, and led Utah’s governor, Spencer Cox, to decry the incident as a form of “religious bigotry” on Twitter on Saturday night.

Oregon’s Interim Vice President for the Division of Student Life, Kris Winter, said in a statement on Saturday night that “the university apologizes for the despicable chants made by some University of Oregon fans at today’s football game with Brigham Young University.

“There is no place for hate, bias or bigotry at the University of Oregon,” she continued. “These actions are simply unacceptable. We will investigate, and we call on our students and campus community to refuse to accept or tolerate this type of behavior.”

A representative for BYU did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Oregon Ducks won Saturday’s game — which took place at their Autzen Stadium — 41-20, according to ESPN.

The Deseret News, a news site based in Salt Lake City, reported that the chants “were similar to what USC fans chanted at BYU last November.” That incident led the University of Southern California to also issue an apology for the chants, which were heard on ESPN’s national broadcast of the game, according to the Deseret News.

“The offensive chant from our student section directed towards BYU during the football game last night does not align with our Trojan values,” USC’s athletic department tweeted at the time. “It was distasteful and we apologize to the BYU program.”

BYU won that game, held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum stadium, 35-31, according to ESPN and the Deseret News.

It is unclear whether the chants from University of Oregon fans could be heard on the television broadcast of Saturday’s game, according to the Deseret News.

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