Sports Announcer Says He Called Teen Girls The N-Word Because He’s Diabetic

by Madison Vanderberg
@FrankieParks/Twitter/NFHS Network

A high school sports announcer says his spiking sugar levels are to blame for his racist attack against a girls high school basketball team

A sports announcer that used horrifying racial slurs against an Oklahoma girls high school basketball game on Thursday, March 11, 2021, is now saying his bigoted verbal attack was the result of his blood sugar “spiking.”

The Norman High School girls basketball team kneeled in protest during the national anthem on Thursday ahead of a basketball match-up. Kneeling during the national anthem is a protected and powerful way for athletes to take a stand against racial injustice in America and instead of respecting this tradition, the sports announcer for the game hurled expletives at the teenage girls, calling them the n-word. I repeat, a man — a father, no less — called a group of young girls the n-word.

“They’re kneeling?” The announcer-in-question said in the deeply upsetting video. “F***ing n******. I hope Norman gets their ass kicked. F*** them. I hope they lose. They’re going to kneel like that? Hell no.”

Per Yahoo News, the announcer Matt Rowan, was hired by the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association and was apparently a contractor for the NFHS Network, which airs the high school games online with commentary. Since the traumatic outburst, the NFHS Network has “cut ties” with that announcer.

However, the most effed up thing is that this racist sports announcer says he is a dad and a former youth pastor and claims his verbal assault on the girls was the result of his “blood sugar spiking.”

“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,” Rowan said in a statement Friday night (via Norman Transcript). “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. I do not believe that I would have made such horrible statements absent my sugar spiking.”

The other announcer heard in the video is Scott Sapulpa, an actual coach for the school district, and though he did not participate in the slurs, he did not condemn them either.

“Our employee should have stood up for the students and condemned the racist language from the other announcer and the hate and intolerance it represents,” Hulbert Public Schools Superintendent Jolyn Choate said in a statement. “Our district strives to create an inclusive environment where everyone feels safe and valued. We will not accept or tolerate racist and hateful language or actions, nor will we stand by silently and allow racism to go unchallenged.”

No word yet on whether there has been any repercussion for Sapulpa.

As for the young women on the floor who took a knee that day, one player on the team says racist behavior like Rowan’s is “why we kneel.”

None of this is okay. From a man using this language against anyone (let alone a group of young girls), to the district coach doing nothing to call him out or hold him accountable, it’s all reprehensible. Thank god we have young women like those on the team pushing our culture towards a more inclusive and accountable future.