A sports announcer at an Oklahoma high school basketball game chanted a racial slur in a live microphone to players on the court during the national anthem on Thursday night, causing widespread outrage and condemnation.
In a video clip that quickly went viralThe announcer can be heard cursing as he watched the players of Norman High School’s girls basketball team play just before the start of a quarter-final state tournament game against Midwest City.
“They are kneeling?” He says, clearly not realizing that he and the rest of the broadcasting team can still be heard. Then, he used the racial slurry to say, “I hope they lost.”
“How are they going to kneel like this?” He continues. “No way.”
Frankie Parks, a Norman High School teacher and team coach, posted a video clip on Twitter on Friday morning condemning the announcer’s comments, That affects local leaders Norman, a city of 123,000 people about 20 miles south of Oklahoma City.
“Tell us how you really feel?” Mr. Parks wrote. “That’s why they kneel.”
Announcer, Matt Rowan, A statement from Frontier apologized, A non-profit news organization covering Oklahoma. The organization described Mr. Rowan as the owner of a streaming service that broadcasts the game.
The website for Mr. Rowan’s company, OSPN, was taken over by Saturday morning. Mr. Rowan did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday.
In his statement, Mr. Rowan, who described himself as a married father of two children who attends a Baptist church, said he had type diabetes.
“I have not only embarrassed and disappointed myself, I have embarrassed and disappointed my family and my friends,” he said. ” During the game my sugar was spinning. Not forgiving my comments, it is not uncommon when my sugar spikes that I go astray and often say things that are not fair and do not hurt at the same time. “
Mr Rowan said it was not for his sugar spiking, “I don’t believe I would have made such terrible statements.”
He said he could not explain why he made the comments.
“This is something I should take responsibility for,” Mr. Rowan said. “I accept responsibility for my words and actions with complete honesty.”
The remarks made on Thursday sparked a sharp rebuke and provoked anger. Mayor of norman And police departments, as well as NFL players Kenny Stills And Gerald McCoy, Who posted a photo on Twitter kneeling in support of high school players.
“These young women are tough,” Sergeant. Neilon Greenwood of Norman Police Department Said in a statement. “They are fighters. The remarks made against him will add fuel to his fire. “
The National Federation of High School Associations Network, which plays high school sports, and the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association running tournaments, say they were investigating.
In the statement, the two organizations said that the broadcast team would not be used during the remainder of the tournament.
The network said it was “immediately cut with a third-party production crew that was involved.”
“We apologize and get sick of the comments,” the network said. “The views expressed in no way represent our network, and we are offended that they found their way into production.”
Norman High School girls basketball team, undefeated, Won the game 53–40.