A high school basketball announcer in Oklahoma was heard on a hot mic calling teenage athletes the N-word for kneeling during the national anthem.
During the Norman High and Midwest City's 6A girls state quarterfinals game Thursday night, every player from Norman elected to kneel for the anthem in what appeared to be a protest against systemic racism.
However, an announcer, who has yet to be identified, was caught making racial remarks about the young athletes.
"They're kneeling? ------- -------,” the individual was heard saying on the National Federation of State High School (NFHS) Association Network's official livestream.
"I hope Norman gets their --- kicked. ---- them. I hope they lose. C'mon Midwest City. They're gonna kneel like that? Hell, no,” the person continued.
Per The Norman Transcript, the individual was reportedly contracted by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association to announce the game on NFHS’s online stream.
After the shocking clip went viral, Dr. Nick Migliorino, the superintendent for Norman Public Schools, issued a statement condemning the “racist and hateful comments.” He also said his schools will no longer rely on NFHS to broadcast its games.
He said, "Last night during the Norman High School girls’ basketball game versus Midwest City in the Oklahoma 6A State Basketball Tournament, National Federation of High School (NFHS) Network announcers on a live stream broadcast made racist and hateful comments targeted at our Norman High student athletes. The announcers were contracted by OSSAA for the state tournament.
“We condemn and will not tolerate the disgusting words and attitudes of these announcers. This type of hate speech has no place in our society and we are outraged that it would be directed at any human being, and particularly at our students.
“We fully support our students’ right to freedom of expression and our immediate focus is to support these girls and their coaches and families, particularly our Black students and coaching staff. It is tragic that the hard work and skill of this team is being overshadowed by the vile, malignant words of these individuals. We will do everything in our power to support and uplift our team and everyone affected by this incident.
“Moving forward NPS will rely only on our long-standing, community partner SportsTalk Media to live stream the remainder of the tournament, as we have full confidence in their proven ability to respectfully support our student athletes."
On Friday, NFHS Network also released a statement denouncing the individual’s comments and announced that they have launched an investigation into the matter.
We have been made aware of the racist and hateful remarks made during a broadcast of the OSSAA Quarterfinals last night. We completely condemn these acts and are investigating the matter and the individuals involved.— NFHS Network (@NFHSNetwork) March 12, 2021
See our complete statement attached. pic.twitter.com/c0r0YVhvIC