Oklahoma Broadcaster Blames Racist Remarks on Diabetes, Spiking Blood Sugar
Update: The broadcaster in question has been identified as Matt Rowan. He has released a statement using three paragraphs explaining how good he is as a person before, adding, "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'm not a doctor, but this is the first I've heard of diabetes causing racism.
You can read Rowan's entire statement below:
Original story: It's been a tradition in American sports to play the National Anthem as the teams prepare to play the scheduled contest. For a long time, that was just a part of the game. There have been small protests around the National Anthem at sporting events for years, but the protesting intensified after Colin Kaepernick's kneeling battle with the NFL, and the NBA kneeling in protest collectively this past season in the bubble.
High school teams across the country have also taken their moment before games to peacefully protest against what they believe is happening. I'm not here to pass judgment on the protest; I'm here to tell you sometimes there's a story that's so ironic it hurts.
In the most basic sense, the headline of this story could read, "High school girls saying racism exists encounter racist." End of story.
It's not even the hidden racism you read about. It's a group of grown men before a high school basketball game they're being paid to announce calling a group of high school girls racial slurs and hoping they get beat.
The game in question was Norman High School Girls’ Basketball versus Midwest City in the Oklahoma 6A State Basketball Tournament.
NHFS, a national online broadcasting company, was airing the game when this was caught on a hot mic:
The broadcaster slinging the hate toward the Norman basketball team is currently unidentified, according to The Oklahoman.
"I hope they get their ass kicked," the broadcaster is heard saying after noting that the team was kneeling. "F***ing n*****s," he adds.
The OSSAA has since released this statement about the incident:
On behalf of the NFHS Network and the OSSAA, we sincerely apologize that this happened at one of our events. While we are currently investigating the incident, this crew will not be doing any more games for the remainder of our championships.
The NFHS released their own statement:
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.
The NFHS Network firmly condemns racism, hate and discrimination.
We also deeply apologize to the students, their families, and the entire community for having such ignorant and hurtful comments expressed during the broadcast.
As an organization dedicated to empowering students and young people through high school sports and athletic programs and making their achievements accessible to all in their communities and beyond, this incident is a direct violation of our mission as a company.
Not only should this broadcaster not do another game this weekend, but he should also be banned from broadcasting. After incidents like this, I always hear, 'You have to be careful around a hot mic!' I hate that. I mean, it's true. But you have very little integrity if it only takes having a hot mic to not say stupid racist crap.
How about this instead: "Don't be a racist idiot." That seems easier than assuming your mic is hot.
Also, was this broadcaster respecting the National Anthem? Did he stand up and take his headset off and salute? He's worried about the team saluting while he's cussing them, does he not see the irony there? I certainly see it. I hope you do, too.
* A previous version of this story identified Scott Sapulpa as the broadcaster. The Oklahoman then revised their reporting. This story reflects those changes.