- A basketball announcer used racial slurs for a girls team who knelt during the national anthem.
- Matt Rowan was caught using the N-word after he thought his microphone had been turned off.
- In a written apology, Rowan said he had diabetes and that his blood levels “spiked” during the game.
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Matt Rowan, 44, used the profanity-laced slurs during a playoff game between Norman High School and Midwest City High School in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, on Thursday.
In a video posted to Twitter on Friday, the broadcasters can be heard telling their listeners they would return after the break but apparently did not realize their audio was still live. As the national anthem started playing, all Norman players knelt, prompting the announcer to make the shocking remarks.
“They’re kneeling? F–k them,” one of the men said, according to the Guardian. “I hope Norman gets their ass kicked.”
“I hope they lose. C’mon Midwest City. They’re gonna kneel like that? Hell no… F–king n—ers,” he continued.
The video, which has been viewed more than 1.8 million times, shocked many people on social media and triggered a backlash from professional athletes, including Norman’s head coach.
Taking to Twitter, Norman coach Frankie Parks wrote: “Tell us how you really feel!! THIS IS WHY THEY KNEEL!!!,” referring to athletes who kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.
Watch the moment below.
—Frankie Parks (@CoachFParks) March 12, 2021
Rowan has since apologized for his remarks, writing in a statement: “I made inappropriate and racist comments believing that the microphone was off; however, let me state immediately that is no excuse such comments should have never been uttered.”
Rowan describes himself as a family man and former youth pastor, said
He then goes on to blame his remarks on his
writing: “I will state that I suffer Type 1 Diabetes and during the game my sugar was spiking. While not excusing my remarks it is not unusual when my sugar spikes that I become disoriented and often say things that are not appropriate as well as hurtful.”
“I do not believe I would have made such horrible statements absent my sugar spiking,” he added.
—Bryan Armen Graham (@BryanAGraham) March 12, 2021
The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA) and NFHS Network, which broadcast the game, issued statements apologizing for the racial slurs earlier on Friday.
“While we are currently investigating the incident, this crew will not be doing any more games for the remainder of our championships,” OSSAA director David Jackson said, according to the Guardian. “This kind of behavior will never be tolerated by anyone representing the NFHS or OSSAA.”
“The NFHS Network firmly condemns racism, hate, and discrimination, and there is no room for this in high school sports or anywhere,” the organization said in a statement Friday, according to the New York Post.
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