A basketball announcer is in hot water for using racial slurs while Black basketball players kneeled during a high school basketball game.
The incident occurred during a high school girls basketball game between Norman high School and Midwest City teams in Oklahoma.
Two announcers were heard on an open microphone criticizing the players for kneeling during the National Anthem.
"They're kneeling? F*** them," said one announcer. "I hope Norman gets their ass kicked," he said.
After clarifying that Norman players were kneeling, he said, "F*** them, I hope they lose."
A few seconds later, he asked the other announcer, "Did they even salute the flag?" "F***ing ni**ers."
The announcer who made the racist remarks was later identified as Matt Rowan.
In a statement released following the public backlash on Thursday, Rowan said he didn't realize his mic was open.
He said he was a Type I Diabetic and he blamed a spike in his blood sugar levels for his "inappropriate and racist" language.
"I will state that I suffer Type I Diabetes and during the game my sugar was spiking," he 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."
Norman's basketball coach shared the audio clip on Twitter on Friday: "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!!!"
Norman Public Schools Superintendent Nick Migliorino sent out an email to parents, explaining that the "announcers were contracted by (the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association) for the state tournament."
He said the district "will not tolerate the disgusting words and attitudes"... "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."
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