Announcer Caught on Hot Mic Using Racial Slurs Against Oklahoma HS Players Who Kneeled During Anthem (UPDATE)

An announcer was caught on a hot mic using racial slurs towards a high school girl's basketball team who kneeled during the National Anthem.

Basketball on a high school court.

Image via Getty/matimix

Basketball on a high school court.

UPDATED 03/12/21 8:48 p.m. ET: In a newly surfaced press release obtained by The Frontier, the announcer who hurled the racial slurs is named as Matt Rowan. From the release, which is shared via a document screenshot, Rowan writes that he “most regrettably made some statements that cannot be taken back.”

However,  he adds that the comments were made when he believed the microphone that broadcast the slurs was off. After stating his embarrassment for himself along with his family and friends, Rowan attributed the outburst to his diabetic condition.

“I will state I suffer Type 1 Diabetes and during the game my sugar was spiking,” Rowan wrote. “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.” He later apologized to the Norman High School girls basketball team and their families, coaches and “entire school system,” concluding that it is his “sincere desire” to “obtain forgiveness” for the incident. 

See original story below.

Prior to a high school basketball game that took place in Oklahoma on Thursday night, an announcer for an online broadcast referred to a kneeling team as “fucking n*****s.” That comment was picked up on a hot mic. According to a statement from the organization that contracted the game’s broadcasters, the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association, the crew that worked the game has been pulled while an investigation takes place. 

The incident occurred prior to a state tournament contest between the girls’ hoops teams from Norman HS and Midwest City. The team that was kneeling was Norman. And the announcer’s remarks were picked up on the live stream of the National Federation of State High School Association Network.

The following line can be heard in the clip, which is embedded below:

“They’re kneeling? Fucking n*****s. I hope Norman gets their ass kicked. Fuck them. I hope they lose. They’re gonna kneel like that?” 

You can watch here:

Norman’s superintendent, Dr. Nick Migliorino, ripped the comments through a statement. “We condemn and will not tolerate the disgusting words and attitudes of these announcers,” he said. “This type of hate speech has no place in our society and we are outraged that it would be directed at any human being, and particularly at our students (...) It is tragic that the hard work and skill of this team is being overshadowed by the vile, malignant words of these individuals. We will do everything in our power to support and uplift our team and everyone affected by this incident.”

He also announced the school’s decision to use a different broadcast network for the remainder of the tournament. 

On that note, on Friday morning the NFHS Network also put out a statement in which it said an aggressive investigation has begun and, as one would expect, whoever’s responsible would be let go. 

“The NFHS Network firmly condemns racism, hate, and discrimination, and there is no room for this in high school sports or anywhere,” the network said. “We sincerely apologize to the students, their families and the entire community for having such ignorant comments expressed during the broadcast.”

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