Matt Rowan, an announcer with the NFHS Network stream who was caught hurling racial slurs at the Norman girl basketball team, has blamed his behavior on diabetes. The incident took place ahead of its quarterfinal match with Midwest City on Thursday at Sapulpa.
Rowan, the owner and operator of the streaming service OSPN, later issued an apology for his behavior. The racist comments were made during the live streaming of the match on the National Federation of State High School Association network.
"F**king. I hope Norman Gets Their A** Kicked"- Rowan
Rowan's rant came after Norman's team kneeled down during the duration of national anthem, played before the match.
The announcer, who didn't realize that the mike was still on with the listeners able to hear every word of the broadcast, was heard saying, "They are kneeling?" F**king. I hope Norman gets their a** kicked. F**k them. I hope they lose. They are going to kneel like that? Hell no."
Soon after the clip went viral prompting backlash over the racist comments, the OSSAA and NFHS released a statement claiming that an investigation has been ordered against the announcer. Claiming that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated by anyone representing the NFHS or OSSAA, the agencies said that this crew will not be doing any more games for the remainder of our championships.
Rowan's Statement Invites Wrath of Social Media Users
Blaming the racial rant on the medical condition Rowan said that he was suffering from Type 1 Diabetes which caused the blood sugar level to spike.
"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 the 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," Rowan said in the statement.
However, Rowan's statement only made the worse as it invited additional wrath of the social media users. "Ah, his diabetes let his racism escape from his mouth. Got to give him credit for creativity," wrote a user as another added, "So if we can cure diabetes, we can cure racism?!?!"
"Just eat a Snickers. That'll clear that racism right up. What a sorry excuse for something that is frankly inexcusable. Did he actually think blaming diabetes would absolve him of any culpability?" read another tweet.