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The mic’s always hot, asshole

Basketball

The GIST: We usually save the biggest WTF moments for our podcast, The GIST of It, but this one couldn’t wait.

March 15, 2021
Source: Macie West/Norman High School
Source: Macie West/Norman High School

The moment: Last Thursday, Tulsa’s Norman High School girls’ basketball team was about to play in the quarterfinals of the Oklahoma state championships. As the pre-game anthem played, the entire team knelt and linked arms. 

  • Meanwhile up in the broadcast booth, announcer Matt Rowan — who thought his mic was off — shared a short but expletive-ridden racist rant on the livestream broadcast. We won’t repeat it, but take a listen if you’d like. Fair warning: it’s disgusting.

The “apology”: We put in air quotes because we’re not buying it. Rowan released a statement on Friday, acknowledging his hateful words and attempting to apologize, yet laid most of the blame not on his obvious racism, but instead on his Type I diabetes and spiking blood sugar. Oh, is racism a symptom of insulin deficiency now? 

The victory: Despite Rowan’s wish that Norman High get “their ass kicked,” the reigning champs won the game and the state championship, capping a perfect 19-0 season and living out Michelle Obama’s catchphrase, “When they go low, we go high.”

  • As for Rowan, the players wore their response to him on T-shirts ahead of the title game on Saturday: “THIS IS WHY WE KNEEL.” The day also happened to be the one year anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s murder.

The team received the support of many, but the message from the WNBA’s players association has to be our favorite. Ignorance and hate cannot define them.