At a basketball game, an announcer was caught on open mic using a racial slur.
During the national anthem before a high school tournament game in Oklahoma, the announcer cursed and used a slur as students knelt. He later apologised and blamed the outburst on his diabetes.
On Thursday night, as players on the court knelt during the national anthem, a sports announcer at an Oklahoma high school basketball game uttered a racial slur into a live microphone, eliciting widespread indignation and condemnation.
The announcer could be heard swearing as the Norman High School girls' basketball team kneeled just before the start of a quarterfinal state tournament game against Midwest City in a video clip that quickly went viral.
He seems to be unaware that he and the rest of the news team are already being seen as he asks, "They're kneeling?" Then he says the racial slur, followed by the words, "I hope they lose."
He asks, "Are they going to kneel like that?" “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
On Friday morning, Frankie Parks, a teacher and team coach at Norman High School, posted a video clip on Twitter criticizing the announcer's remarks, which infuriated local leaders in Norman, a city of 123,000 residents about 20 miles south of Oklahoma City.
“Can you tell us how you really feel?” Mr. Parks penned a message. “It's for this purpose that they kneel.”
Matt Rowan, the announcer, issued an apology to The Frontier, a nonprofit news service covering Oklahoma. Mr. Rowan is the owner of a streaming service that broadcast the game, according to the organization.
As of Saturday morning, Mr. Rowan's company's website, OSPN, seemed to have been taken offline. On Saturday, Mr. Rowan did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Mr. Rowan, who identified himself as a married father of two children who attends a Baptist church, mentioned that he had Type 1 diabetes in his statement.
He said, "I have not only humiliated and disappointed myself, but I have also embarrassed and disappointed my family and friends." “My blood sugar was spiking during the game. Although I do not justify my comments, it is not uncommon for me to become disoriented and say things that are both insensitive and hurtful as my blood sugar levels rise.”
“I do not think that I would have made such awful statements” if it hadn't been for his sugar spiking, Mr. Rowan said.
He went on to state that he couldn't explain why he made the remarks.
Mr. Rowan said, "This is something for which I must accept responsibility." "I take full responsibility for my words and actions."
The mayor of Norman and the Norman Police Department, as well as NFL players like Kenny Stills and Gerald McCoy, reacted angrily to the comments on Thursday, posting a photo on Twitter of the high school players kneeling in solidarity.
“These young women are tough,” Norman Police Department Sgt. Neelon Greenwood said in a statement. “They're fighters,” says the narrator. The insults directed at them can only add to their rage.”
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association, which runs the tournament, and the National Federation of State High School Associations' affiliate network, which broadcasts high school sports games, also said they were looking into it.
Both organisations said the broadcast team will not be included for the remainder of the tournament in separate statements.
“Immediately cut ties with the third-party production crew that was involved,” the network said.
“We apologize for the remarks and are disgusted by them,” the network said. “The ideas shared do not reflect our network in any way, and we are offended that they were included in the production.”
The unbeaten Norman High School girls' basketball team won the game 53-40.