March 15, 2021– Oklahoma high school basketball announcer Matt Rowan used racial slurs toward the Norman (Okla) girls basketball team that kneeled during the playing of the national anthem last week during a 6A State quartefinal game with Midwest City.
The incident has caused an uproar around the country, especially on social media.
The game was being live-streamed on the National Federation of State High School Associations Network (NFHS Network) and Rowan was heard commenting on the team’s decision to take a knee during the anthem.
The tweet below contains the raw, uncensored sound.
Norman first start kneeling during the anthem at the Moore game on Jan.uary15th and continued that during the state tournament.
Tiger junior Myka Perry told the Norman Transcript –
“It was kind of all our idea. and we all wanted to do it.”
Norman would go on to beat Midwest City, a semifinal game win against Union followed and after that the Oklahoma 6A state championship with a 48-37 win over Bixby and the end to a perfect 19-0 season.
Rowan, issued an apology on his actions –
Reactions to Rowan’s apology received some very harsh comments on Twitter –
Numerous other statements were released on the situation –
Nick Migliorino, Norman Public Schools superintendent and Norman Mayor Mayor Breea Clark
NFHS Network issued a statement
“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. We are aggressively investigating the incident and have immediately cut ties with the third-party production crew that was involved.
“The NFHS Network firmly condemns racism, hate and discrimination. We also deeply apologize to the students, their families, and the entire community for having such ignorant and hurtful comments expressed during the broadcast.
“As an organization dedicated to empowering students and young people through high school sports and athletic programs and making their achievements accessible to all in their communities and beyond, this incident is a direct violation of our mission as a company.”
For the Norman girls basketball team and Matt Rowan…the fact that the Tigers won a state title during a perfect season…will be overshadowed by the incident and remembered by many for the racial slurs. Both will have to live with that consequence.