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BYU’s Houston Heimuli Shares Uplifting Message In Aftermath Of Oregon Chants

Sep 19, 2022, 2:42 PM
Houston Heimuli, BYU Football...
BYU football fullback Houston Heimuli discussed what he would like to see moving from offensive chants by Oregon students towards members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Mengshin Lin, Deseret News)
(Mengshin Lin, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – When BYU football added fullback Houston Heimuli out of the Transfer Portal, they inherited a veteran leader.

Heimuli, a former captain at Stanford, is well-versed in the atmospheres at Oregon’s Autzen Stadium from his time in the Pac-12 North.

Oregon students shouted offensive chants during BYU game

However, the atmosphere at Autzen from Saturday’s BYU/Oregon game has drawn national headlines. Members of Oregon’s student section, The Pit Crew, had an offensive chant directed towards members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BYU’s ownership.

The University of Oregon and Oregon’s student section leadership have since apologized for the chants. Along with Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown.

Heimuli, during his weekly appearance with Hans & Scotty G on the KSL Sports Zone, was asked if he and his teammates heard those chants during the game.

“Honestly, I didn’t hear much about it from the crowd like from that specific moment that was put on Twitter,” said Heimuli to KSL Sports. “But, I mean, here and there, you know, you hear the little off comment, especially about our Church. Kalani (Sitake) kind of warned us going in that you have to steel your minds for people saying that kind of stuff. I did. I usually do, and I’m pretty good about it.”

Since the racial unrest in America during the summer of 2020, BYU incorporated the motto “Love One Another” into its athletic department. The message comes from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hymn book. It’s a popular hymn for Latter-day Saint members.

Heimuli wants that to be the focus moving forward coming out of these offensive chants in Oregon, love, and forgiveness.

Houston Heimuli: “We want to be people who show love and forgiveness”

“After this whole situation blew up, you know, of course, it’s a terrible thing. It’s recognized, but the biggest problem is that I don’t want people of our own faith jumping the gun and now we are calling out every little thing whereas we are starting to become what we don’t want to be,” Heimuli said. “We want to be people who show love and forgiveness. But also, we don’t want to let the problem run us over.

“Obviously, I think we need to recognize what happened there, and everyone’s recognizing, everyone’s starting to see it. The Governor tweeted it out, Oregon football tweeted it out, and at some point, it’s got to be like, ‘OK, you know, we recognize this let’s forgive it, let’s forget, let’s move on and let’s live what we teach other people about.'”

Heimuli and the 19th-ranked BYU Cougars will now turn their attention to the next scheduled game, a matchup with the Wyoming Cowboys on Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Kickoff is at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN2 and KSL NewsRadio.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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