Just when you thought you’ve seen and heard it all when it comes to lame excuses for bad behaviour in public, along comes another on that tops them all.
Matt Rowan, an Oklahoma sports announcer who initially denied he was the one caught on video calling a high school girls basketball team the N-word for taking the knee, later issued a statement blaming the racist incident on his Type 1 diabetes.
“I hope Norman gets their a– kicked,” Rowan said in the video. “F—— n——” was heard saying.
The former youth pastor, came clean as the announcer in a statement after the game. In the lengthy response, Rowan said that he believed his microphone was off when he called Norman High School players then-word.
“During the Norman High School girls’ basketball game against Midwest City, I made inappropriate and racist comments believing that the microphone was off; however, let me state immediately that is no excuse such comments should have never been uttered,” he said in the statement.
“I have not only embarrassed and disappointed myself I have embarrassed and disappointed my family and my friends.”
Rowan then attempt to offer an explanation, “I will state that I suffer Type 1 Diabetes and during the game my sugar was spiking. 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,” he said. “I do not believe that I would have made such horrible statements absent my sugar spiking.”
The announcer went on to say that he is not racist and apologized for his comments.
A non-profit advocacy group for Type 1 diabetes research, responded in a tweet, “There are a lot of symptoms of high blood sugar, racism is not one of them.”
Rowan and the entire broadcast team were hired by the National Federation of High School (NFHS) Network, which streams high school sports. The network released a statement Friday and said it was “aggressively investigating” the incident and has “cut ties with the third-party production crew that was involved.”
“We apologize for and are sickened by the comments made last night at the start of our broadcast of the OSSAA girls basketball game between Norman High School and Midwest City High School.”
“The thoughts expressed in no way represent our network, and we are outraged that they found their way into the production.”
Norman High School girls basketball went on to win the state championship and end their season undefeated.