Duke Asks Its Crazed Basketball Fans to Heckle Responsibly

The fervent basketball fans at Duke University, hundreds of whom are camping in a tent village to get prime seats for Saturday’s rivalry game against the University of North Carolina, have been a target of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts this year.

The student section of Blue Devils fans, called “Cameron Crazies” for the energy and antics they bring to that cramped arena at Duke, heckles opponents with the help of “cheer sheets” that include biographical details and biting comments about opposing players. Past cheer sheets from games against U.N.C. called one of its athletes “the ugliest player in the N.C.A.A.” and said of another, “no way he’s allowed to live within 200 yards of a school.”

The suggested chants were sometimes targeted — “Caveman” for one player with long hair and a beard — but largely innocuous, including “Go, Devils, Go,” and “Baby!” Duke fans regularly scream and wave their hands at opposing players when they inbound the ball.

At a D.E.I. town hall hosted by Duke’s student government this year, sports fans were encouraged to be responsible in any heckling of opposing players and to refrain from slurs, according to Duke’s student newspaper, The Chronicle.

The town hall, which included comments from basketball players and members of the athletic staff, was intended for students who participate in the tent village tradition called Krzyzewskiville, or K-Ville, after the former men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. About 100 people attended the event, according to the university.

David Ntim, a sophomore biomedical engineering major who is camping in Krzyzewskiville, did not go to the town hall but said he understood its intention.

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