An announcer covering an Oklahoma high school girls’ state tournament basketball game Thursday was caught on a hot mic using racial slurs. As the players on the Norman High School knelt during the national anthem, the NFHS Network broadcaster said, “They’re kneeling? Fucking n---ers. I hope Norman gets their ass kicked.” The announcer, Matt Rowan, later released a statement saying he was “embarrassed and disappointed” and blaming the slur on his Type 1 diabetes. “While not excusing my remarks it is not unusual when my sugar spikes that I become disorientated and often say things that are not appropriate as well as hurtful,” said Rowan, who noted he was a family man and former youth pastor. “I do not believe that I would have made such horrible statements absent my sugar spiking.”
The NFHS Network said in a statement it would fire the person responsible for the slur. Norman Mayor Breea Clark said she contacted parents of the girls to ask how their daughters were doing. “[One parent] said her response was, ‘This is why we kneel,’ because there’s a problem,” Clark said.
Correction: An earlier version of this cheat said that The Oklahoman’s Cameron Jourdan had identified the announcer as Scott Sapulpa. Jourdan has since retracted the report. Sapulpa was with Rowan during the game but did not make the slur, Rowan said in his statement.