Announcer Caught Using Racial Slur Toward OK Girls’ Basketball Team for Kneeling
According to a report in AL.com, the incident took place before a game between Norman (OK) High School and Midwest City — a Class 6A state quarterfinals matchup. During the national anthem, with a live video feed displaying the pregame routine, the entire Normal girls basketball team took a knee, AL.com reported.The game was live-streamed on the National Federation of State High School Associations Network (NFHS Network) and caught an announcer speaking rather candidly about the team’s decision to take a knee — a now well-known, but still controversial, form of protest regarding police brutality towards Black individuals.
According to the report from AL.com, one of the announcers can be heard saying, “They’re kneeling? (Expletive) (racial slur). I hope Norman get their ass kicked. (Expletive) them. I hope they lose…
“They’re going to knee like that? Hell no.”
Video of the moment began to spread around social media and was tweeted out by Norman’s girls basketball coach, Frankie Parks. (Editor’s note: The tweet below contains the raw, uncensored sound. Be advised.)
Hey @NFHSNetwork looks like you forgot to cut the Mic!!! "F****** N******" is the one that really got me!! Tell us how you really feel!! THIS IS WHY THEY KNEEL!!!@Migliorino_Nick @tohara_o @NHS_AthDept @gonormantigers pic.twitter.com/mmWQAecLaF
— Frankie Parks (@CoachFParks) March 12, 2021
The girls’ basketball team went to capture the Oklahoma 6A state championship.
The name of the announcer in question, Matt Rowan, issued an apology via a press release on Friday.
The announcer who made the racist statements is partially blaming it on low blood sugar. pic.twitter.com/6cTwIZdJZI
— Dylan Goforth (@DGoforth918) March 12, 2021
Nick Migliorino, Norman Public Schools superintendent, gave the following statement to The Norman Transcript:
“We fully support our students’ right to freedom of expression and our immediate focus is to support these girls and their coaches and families, particularly our Black students and coaching staff. 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.”
Additionally, the NFHS Network issued a statement apologizing and condemning the incident.
“We apologize for and are sickened by the comments made last night at the start of our broadcast of the OSSAA girls basketball game between Norman High School and Midwest City High School. The thoughts expressed in no way represent our network, and we are outraged that they found their way into the production. We are aggressively investigating the incident and have immediately cut ties with the third-party production crew that was involved.