People are quite clearly becoming fatigued.
Before a 6A State Girls Basketball Tournament game Thursday between Norman High School and Midwest City High School, an announcer was heard on a hot microphone making derogatory statements and using a racial slur to describe Norman High players who were kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial and social injustice.
“They’re kneeling? Fuck them. I hope Norman gets their ass kicked,” said one announcer, later identified as Matt Rowan.
The second announcer, identified as Scott Sapulpa, responds, “Are you serious?”
Rowan continues: “Fuck them. I hope they lose. Come on Midwest City. They’re going to kneel like that? Hell with them. They even saluting the flag? Some of them aren’t. Fucking n*****s.”
Video of the incident spread on social media Friday morning and is embedded at the end of this article. The game was being broadcast by the National Federation of State High School Associations, which operates the NFHS Network. The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association contracts with NFHS Network to stream pay-per-view broadcasts of tournament games, and the organizations subsequently hired Tahlequah-based OSPN Live to produce coverage of the 6A State Girls Basketball Tournament.
Hours after the publication of this story, OSPN Live leader Matt Rowan released a statement admitting that he made the remarks. Asking for forgiveness, Rowan said he “cannot explain why I made these comments” because “I have never considered myself to be racist.”
I’m sure he wasn’t a racist.
But when you see these people attacking us like this, denouncing this country that gave them so much, I’m sorry but there is only one word that comes to your mind.
Some people end up saying it, in a rage. Frankly, I’m surprised more people don’t say it.
These people are completely out of control.
The government came out and denounced the guy.
After learning of Rowan’s comments, Rep. Regina Goodwin (D-Tulsa) expressed concern about his role as a sportscaster and his prior time as a youth pastor.
“In this day and age, the racism of the past is very present, and Mr. Rowan should not be engaged with any youth because we need finer examples,” she said.
Goodwin serves as chairwoman of the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus and praised the students who kneeled “to peacefully protest.”
“They are protesting police injustice, and they have a right to do so,” she said. “When I saw black and white students together protesting injustice, that’s beautiful. That’s a beautiful America.”
“Oh, it’s not a violation of the First Amendment, it’s just the government coming out and demanding someone be fired for saying a naughty word.”
This is clearly unconstitutional.
But is that even a defense anymore?