Lewis’ father ready to ‘move on’ after discussing reported chant
Duke’s famed Cameron Crazies student section targeted N.C. State freshman guard Tyler Lewis with several organized chants during Thursday night’s ACC basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
While those chants, aimed at Lewis’ 5-11 frame and youthful appearance, mostly were considered harmless, the words Lewis’ father said he heard from a few Duke fans appeared to step over the bounds of decency.
In the midst of an uproar that raged on social media and sports talk radio shows on Friday, Rick Lewis said he heard some fans reference his mother’s death this past weekend while trying to rattle Tyler Lewis.
“I did hear them chanting ‘Past your bedtime,’ but it sounded like at one time some students did make reference to his grandma in the midst of the other chant,” Rick Lewis told WNCN-TV on Friday.
Media members on site at Cameron, including three journalists from The Herald-Sun, said they heard no organized chant about the death of Tyler Lewis’ grandmother.
Duke’s Cameron Crazies executed planned chants that referenced “The Hobbit”, poking fun of Lewis’ small stature compared to other players, and one of “Past your bedtime” in reference to Lewis being a young player.
Student organizers hold up a white board and use a grease marker to write messages to tell students when to use a particular chant.
A YouTube video of the “Past Your Bedtime” chant was circulated on social media sites Twitter and Facebook on Friday that claimed to reveal audio evidence of the fans chanting “How’s your grandma?”
The audio was, at best, inconclusive.
Jon Jackson, Duke’s associate athletic director for external affairs, said that the school interviewed around 30 people who were at the game. The group included students, staff members, security personnel and media. He said no one reported hearing anything yelled at Lewis about his grandmother’s death.
N.C. State players Richard Howell and Rodney Purvis both posted on their Twitter accounts early Friday morning about the fans making light of Lewis’ grandmother’s death.
Rick Lewis said he would rather focus on his son’s fine play in the game. Although N.C. State lost 98-85, Lewis scored 13 points, had six assists and committed no turnovers against Duke’s defense.
“It’s over with; it’s time to move on,” Lewis said. “It’s no longer an issue to me.”