A University of Kentucky men’s basketball fan who was recorded yelling the N-word at a Tennessee Volunteers supporter at Lexington’s Rupp Arena on Tuesday, March 3, has been banned from all future sporting events at the university.
The incident took place in the closing moments of Tuesday’s tightly contested rivalry game between the Kentucky Wildcats and Tennessee Volunteers. Footage posted to Twitter shows a Wildcats fan appear to exit Rupp Arena toward the end of the game and shout the N-word at a Volunteers supporter.
“An incident like the one that took place last night at Rupp Arena has no place at the University of Kentucky,” Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart tweeted.
“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. This misconduct is unacceptable, unwelcome at the University of Kentucky and not reflective of our values,” he added.
On Wednesday, a woman named Ashley Lyles identified herself as the person in the video and issued an apology for her actions, local media reported.
TV station LEX18 quoted Lyles as saying, “My words were hurtful and hateful and have no place in this world. 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.”
The Kentucky Wildcats lost to the Tennessee Volunteers 81-73. According to ESPN, the defeat ended a Wildcats “hot streak along with 10 perfect years of holding a double-digit halftime lead.”