UTAH UTES

Coeur d’Alene City Officials Express Regret, Sorrow After Utah WBB Experienced ‘Racial Hate Crimes’

Mar 26, 2024, 11:49 AM | Updated: 7:37 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – City officials and the police chief of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho held a news conference regarding the racial incidents the Utah Women’s Basketball team experienced while traveling for the NCAA Tournament.

The tournament games were held in Spokane, but the team’s initial lodging was in Coeur d’Alene.

Head coach of the team, Lynne Roberts, told media members about the incidents following Utah’s loss to Gonzaga on Monday night.

RELATED: Utah Athletics Releases More Information On WBB Racial Incidents In Coeur d’Alene

Coeur d’Alene Mayor Speaks On Racial Incident


On Tuesday morning, city officials held a news conference to offer apologies to the University of Utah women’s basketball team and provide updates on the investigation.

“On behalf of the city of Coeur d’Alene and all of its communities, I strongly condemn the appalling treatment of the female college athletes who were visiting,” Jim Hammond, mayor of Coeur d’Alene said.

Hammond said he reached out to the President’s Office at the University of Utah but has not heard back yet. He said he would like to speak with the staff and team.

“We express regret and true sorrow that your student-athletes were treated with such disdainful treatment,” he continued.  “To the young women who endured racial slurs while visiting, I offer my most sincere apology.”

Investigation Update From Coeur d’Alene Police Chief

Lee White, chief of Coeur d’Alene police, gave a small update on the investigation, though all details will not be reported because it is still considered an open case.

White told media members the crime was first reported on March 21. It was reported that a vehicle drove by the team while they were walking outside and racial slurs were yelled by the occupants.

Investigators are seeking video and witness reports of the incident and encourage anyone with information to contact the police.

Utah WBB NCAA Tournament Trip Dampened By “Racial Hate Crime”

Head coach Lynne Roberts revealed in her postgame press conference after the Utes lost to Gonzaga in the second round of the NCAA Tournament that her team experienced racism toward the beginning of their trip that forced them to move hotels.

“Our team hotel was in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, which is not very close,” Roberts said. “It’s 35-40 minutes, so that was a little strange, but whatever. We had several instances of some kind of racial hate crimes towards our program and it was incredibly upsetting for all of us.”

Roberts detailed what her team experienced calling the incidents “shocking” in an athletic and academic setting.

“There is so much diversity on a college campus and so you just are not exposed to that very often,” Roberts said. “When you are- you have people say, ‘man, I can’t believe that happened,’ but racism is real, and it happens. It’s awful.”

The incidents, which took place Thursday night when the team first arrived for the NCAA Tournament, happened “a few times” before the team moved hotels on Friday, March 22, according to Roberts.

Roberts emphasized the incidents were so shocking, that no one knew what to do.

“For our players- whether they are white, black, green- whatever, no one knew how to handle it,” Roberts continued. “It was really upsetting for our players and staff to not feel safe in an NCAA Tournament environment. It’s messed up. We moved hotels.”

The NCAA and Gonzaga were on hand to help the Utes get out of a bad, and very uncomfortable situation according to Roberts. However, there is some question as to whether they should have been there in the first place.

Despite the quick effort to resolve the issue after it happened, it didn’t change what was an unfortunate distraction for a team trying to enjoy the postseason.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes

Rice Eccles Stadium general view at University of Utah - How to watch Utah Football...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Athletics Celebrates Student-Athletes, Teams At Crimson Carpet Awards

Utah Athletics celebrated their stellar student-athletes on Monday, April 15 in their annual Crimson Carpet Awards.

7 hours ago

kyle-whittingham-during-utah-football-spring-game-2024...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Football Shares Transfer Portal Wish List

Utah football wrapped up their spring practices over the weekend and now the spring NCAA Transfer Portal season is upon us.

11 hours ago

alissa-pili-goes-against-south-carolina-2023...

Michelle Bodkin

Former Utah WBB Star Alissa Pili Is One Of Many Headliners In 2024 WNBA Draft

The popularity of women's basketball is on the rise thanks to a surge of name-brand talent such as Utah women's basketball star Alissa Pili.

24 hours ago

alissa-pili-gives-high-fives-to-kids-pregame-at-huntsman-center-2024...

Michelle Bodkin

Former Utah Women’s Basketball Star Alissa Pili Goes No. 8 Overall In 2024 WNBA Draft

Former Utah women's basketball star Alissa Pili is heading to Minnesota after the Lynx took her No. 8 overall in the 2024 WNBA Draft.

1 day ago

mason-madsen-shoots-ball-during-game-with-boston-college...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Basketball Will Be Seeing Double With Latest Transfer Commitment

The Runnin' Utes are continuing to build their 2024-25 roster picking up a fun transfer from Boston College with family ties to the program.

2 days ago

utah-safety-tao-johnson-catches-ball-during-football-game-2023...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Football Safety Tao Johnson Discusses Pride In Native Heritage

Utah football safety Tao Johnson takes a lot of pride in his Native American heritage and is happy to be representing the Utes.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Coeur d’Alene City Officials Express Regret, Sorrow After Utah WBB Experienced ‘Racial Hate Crimes’