This story just caught me by surprise. That being said, it’s still a sickening story.
Last Friday, there was a girls’ high school basketball game in Oklahoma. The contest between Midwest City and Norman High was a key matchup in the girls’ Class 6A quarterfinals.
The national anthem played. And some of the girls on Norman High took a knee.
One of the broadcast announcers for the game, Matt Rowan, completely lost his shit over the girls taking a knee.
You can hear it on this link.
So one of the radio announcers – identified as Matt Rowan, a former youth pastor who calls basketball games on this high school broadcast network – got a bit offended because some of the Norman High girls took a knee during the National Anthem. His response? He called them the N-word. Not just the N-word, but he defined it as “fucking n-” word. Twice. Then he pushed all his chips in and tossed away his broadcasting neutrality by openly rooting for Midwest City to defeat Norman High.
His co-announcer, outside of what might have been an “Are you serious” blurt from him, said nothing else in disagreement with Rowan, or in support of the athletes.
Well, that little hot mic situation blew up big-time. Both announcers were dismissed from calling any future games in the tournament; Norman High also said it would no longer rely on that network to broadcast their games, no matter who’s in the broadcast booth.
And to make matters worse, Matt Rowan released this statement – a half-hearted apology with “People who know me know I’m not a racist person” swipe.
Oh yeah, and for the capper, he blamed it on a low blood sugar episode. Yep, apparently he’s using his Type I diabetes as an excuse to use the N-word.
No, seriously. Here’s his statement.
Okay, bud. Listen up. Diabetes does not make you a racist. Believing that you can use a racially offensive term for those who kneel to protest police brutality makes you a big fucking racist. It also makes you responsible for your actions. Not your sugar spikes.
Trust me on this. You don’t get a “hall pass” to call anyone the N-word, the R-word, or any other word that’s best left to a first initial and a finite number of dashes. What you need to do right now is walk away from any sort of broadcasting for a very, very long time. You need to make personal amends. Not this “I’m a family man and it was diabetes’ fault” bullshit.
Because that tale … like your apology … is too little, too late.
I saw the headline on Yahoo!. Rowan, I think, knew what he was doing. Diabetes as an alibi? Oh, please, give me a break.
Most high schools, but not all, in NY’s Section II opted not to use PA announcers this basketball season, which ends today. I can’t speak for NFHS in NY, but I’d not be surprised if an edited, sanitized video of the game in Oklahoma got on YouTube.
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