A Kentucky fan has issued a public apology after she was caught on camera yelling a racial slur at Rupp Arena.
The incident took place toward the end of the Wildcats' Tuesday night loss to the Tennessee Volunteers. One attendee started filming two UK fans who were seen leaving after Kentucky blew a 17-point in the second-half, leading Tennessee to an 81-73 victory. The man behind the camera, identified as Ethan Williams, can be heard taunting the woman by shouting, "Why are you leaving?! Ha ha!"
The woman makes her way up to Williams' aisle and begins to call him the n-word.
Another video of the incident has circulated on social media, prompting calls for UK officials to take action against the fan, who has identified herself as Ashley Lyles, according the Courier-Journal. In wake of the backlash, Lyles gave a statement in which she apologized for her actions and insisted it was not a reflection of UK or Kentucky.
"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. 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."
As pointed out by the Courier-Journal, Lyles became a well-known figure among Kentucky sports fans, as she attended a number of events while receiving treatment for brain cancer. But despite her history with UK sports, the schools athletics director Mitch Barnhart has reassured the public that Lyles will face consequences.
"An incident like the one that took place last night at Rupp Arena has no place at the University of Kentucky," Barnhart tweeted 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. 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."