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Duke athletes join campaign against harmful words, phrases

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DURHAM, N.C. — When Kendall Cooper plays basketball, she exudes strength and physicality. Off the court, though, the power of one word can easily defeat her — “retarded,” according to WTVD.

“It means so much to me because my brother, growing up he was called it a lot. So I take offense to it, even though it’s not me per say,” said Cooper, a sophomore on the Duke women’s basketball team. “You know when somebody in your family is bullied for a speech impediment that they have, you take it to heart.”

For her teammate, Oderah Chidom, trash talk her all you want but don’t call her this word — Oreo.

“I don’t feel like I should be able to be characterized as a certain race. So I mean it was a word that stuck to me because ever since I’ve been growing up, I’ve been hearing it,” the sophomore forward said. “I just wanted to bring it to light and let people know that it’s pretty offensive.”

Read full story: WTVD