Warning: This post contains explicit and racially offensive language
An Oklahoma girl’s high school announcer is receiving backlash after he was caught hurling a racist expletive at players kneeling during the national anthem.
“They’re kneeling? F—–g N—–s, I hope Norman gets their a– kicked. F–k them. I hope they lose. They’re gonna kneel like that?” Matt Rowan said about the Norman High School girls’ basketball team who knelt right before their matchup with Midwest City High School.
The incident was livestreamed on the National Federation of State High School Network (NFHS), which produced the livestream.
Rowan, 44, apologized for his remarks, blaming his alleged spiking sugar levels.
“I will state that I suffer Type 1 Diabetes and during the game my sugar was spiking,” Rowan said in a statement on Friday. “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.”
“I’m absolutely speechless for my rhetoric. I want to offer my deepest apologies to these girls because I hurt them,” he told TMZ Sports.
Norman High School basketball coach Frankie Parks tweeted a video of the incident on Friday night.
“Tell us how you really feel!! THIS IS WHY THEY KNEEL!!!,” he wrote.
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
In a statement released on Friday, NFHS apologized to the students, saying that they condemned “racism, hate and discrimination.”
Attached is updated information: pic.twitter.com/GpUmlaF3qX
— NFHS Network (@NFHSNetwork) March 12, 2021
According to the New York Post, the network severed its relationship with the broadcast crew.
The Norman High School Tigers went on to win the game and became the Oklahoma state champions.
FIGHTING HATE WITH FORGIVENESS: Days after a sports announcer called them the N-word live, the head coach of the 2021 Oklahoma Class 6A Girls Basketball State Champs @gonormantigers is offering his forgiveness to OSPN commentator Matt Rowan. pic.twitter.com/eEk9vdtOl3
— Eric Cox (@EricCoxTV) March 15, 2021