Oklahoma girls basketball state champs speak out against announcer after racist rant caught on hot mic
Several players from an Oklahoma high school girls basketball team spoke out after a local broadcaster was caught using explicit and racist language during a livestream of one of their playoff games last week.
The girls were joined by civil rights attorney Ben Crump at a news conference Monday where they spoke out against Matt Rowan, who was caught on a hot mic delivering a racist rant at the team after members knelt during the national anthem before their quarterfinal game against Midwest City on Thursday.
"Racism is still alive and well today and just hearing those words was very heartbreaking, but we had to push that to the side. We had one goal: to win the state tournament," senior Chantae Embry said, via KWTV.
"The broadcaster should be held accountable so something like this doesn’t happen in the future," freshman Zya Vann added.
"What happened during the state tournament is exactly why we decided to kneel in the first place," junior Myka Perry said. "You don’t have to agree with us kneeling, but you do have to respect it. Just how we respect people’s decision to stay standing during the anthem."
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Rowan used harsh language and a racial epithet directed at the Norman players who decided to kneel last week, unaware that his mic was still on.
"They're kneeling? F--- them," Rowan can be heard saying. "I hope Norman gets their ass kicked ... F---ing [epithet]."
He continued: "I hope Norman gets their ass kicked. F--- them. I hope they lose. C'mon, Midwest City. They're gonna kneel like that? Hell no."
Rowan, the owner and operator of the streaming service OSPN, issued an apology Friday, blaming his use of racist language on his blood sugar levels.
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NFHS Network, which ran the stream, issued a statement cutting all ties with Rowan.
"We strongly condemn Matt Rowan's racist comments, and we immediately and permanently severed all ties with him and his production company as soon as we learned about the incident," NFHS Network said. "He will never work with us again. We firmly back the Norman High School girls basketball team and commit to rooting out racism in high school sports and throughout our society."
Crump said during Monday’s press conference there are no plans to pursue legal action against Rowan or NFHS at the moment.
For more, go to Fox News.