*The original story at the bottom*
The man who made the racist comments is apologizing for his words — and chalking the whole thing up to a diabetic episode.
We spoke with 44-year-old Matt Rowan who admits it’s HIS voice making the insanely offensive comments about the girl’s basketball team while they were kneeling for the national anthem.
“I will state that I suffer Type 1 Diabetes and during the game, my sugar was spiking,” Rowan said in a statement.
“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.”
Rowan adds, “I do not believe that I would have made such horrible statements absent my sugar spiking.”
TMZ Sports spoke with Rowan who added, “I’m absolutely speechless for my rhetoric. I want to offer my deepest apologies to these girls because I hurt them.”
“[The N-word] should never be thought much less muttered.”
Rowan says he does not “want to hide behind diabetes” — adding, “I want to take ownership of my actions. Never my intention to hurt anyone. I am sickened by what I said. I am so sorry for what I said.”
10:25 AM PT — The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association — which contracted the announcers for the game — announced Thursday night’s broadcast crew has been pulled from the remainder of the tournament while it investigates the incident.
This is disgusting.
A high school basketball announcer in Oklahoma called players “f***ing n*****s” for kneeling during the national anthem before a game this week … and it was all caught on a hot mic.
It all went down before the Norman HS girls hoops team faced off against Midwest City during the Oklahoma 6A state basketball tournament Thursday night.
Every player from Norman elected to kneel for the duration of the anthem … which led to the announcer’s outburst on the National Federation of State High School Association Network’s official live stream. Here’s what we heard in the clip …
“They’re kneeling? F***ing n*****s. I hope Norman gets their ass kicked. F*** them. I hope they lose. They’re gonna kneel like that?”
The clip has since made rounds on social media .. with NFL stars like Kenny Stills — who also kneels for the anthem — and Gerald McCoy speaking out against the blatant racism.
“Amerikkka,” Stills tweeted Friday morning … while McCoy added, “See why we do it!?! They still think it’s about the flag.”
Players from the Norman girls hoops team also spoke out against the announcer’s comments … saying, “This is why we kneel.”
Norman superintendent Dr. Nick Migliorino ripped the “racist and hateful” comments in a scathing statement … saying, “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.”
He added … “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.”
Migliorino says Norman will use a different live streaming service for the remainder of the tournament … “as we have full confidence in their proven ability to respectfully support our student athletes.”
The NFHS Network also released a statement Friday morning … saying it is “aggressively investigating” the incident and will cut ties with any individuals responsible.
“The NFHS Network firmly condemns racism, hate, and discrimination, and there is no room for this in high school sports or anywhere,” the network said.
“We sincerely apologize to the students, their families and the entire community for having such ignorant comments expressed during the broadcast.”
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