- A high school sports announcer used a racist slur when a kneeled during the national anthem.
- Matt Rowan blamed his blood sugar levels in a statement, saying it makes him disoriented.
- The network broadcasting the game said in a statement that it cut ties with Rowan.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A high school sports announcer in Oklahoma blamed his use of a racial slur on his Diabetes.
During a girl’s basketball game between Norman High School and Midwest City broadcasted on the NFHS Network stream, Matt Rowan, the announcer, criticized the Norman players for kneeling during the national anthem.
The broadcast had said it would return after the playing of the national anthem, but the microphones were never turned off.
“They’re kneeling? F— them,” Rowan could be heard saying. “I hope Norman gets their ass kicked … F—— n——.”
The video can be seen below – WARNING: Explicit language:
-Frankie Parks (@CoachFParks) March 12, 2021
Rowan later released a statement saying that while there is no excuse for his comments, he wouldn’t have made the comment if not for a spike in his sugar levels.
“I will state that I suffer Type 1 Diabetes and during the game my sugar was spiking,” Rowan said in the statement. “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 that I would have made such horrible statements absent my sugar spiking.”
Rowan added: “While the comments I made would certainly seem to indicate that I am racist, I am not. I have never considered myself to be racist, and in short cannot explain why I made these comments.”
-Dylan Goforth (@DGoforth918) March 12, 2021
The NFHS Network released a statement saying Rowan will not take part in any more broadcasts.
“The thoughts expressed in no way represent the NFHS Network and we are outraged that they found their way into our production,” the network said in a statement. “We sincerely apologize to the students, their families and the entire community for having such ignorant comments expressed during the broadcast. We are aggressively investigating the incident and will ensure that any individuals responsible will have no relationship with the NFHS Network moving forward.”
Norman Public Schools Superintendent Nick Migliorino also released a statement defending the girls’ basketball team’s decision to kneel.
“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,” Migliorino said. “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.”