Sports

High school basketball announcer makes racist comments on hot mic after players kneel during national anthem

A high school basketball announcer was caught on a hot mic making racist comments ahead of a state tournament game being played in Oklahoma.

Before the start of Thursday night’s high school girls basketball game between Norman and Midwest City, the announcer could be heard on a live stream calling Norman players a racial slur after seeing that they were kneeling during the national anthem, a popular method of protesting racial injustice. The announcer, who was hired by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) and called the contest on a National Federation of High School (NFHS) Network stream, was later identified as Scott Sapulpa, according to reports from The Oklahoman and The Norman Transcript.

(Warning: Offensive language in the video below.)

“They’re kneeling? F—ing n—,” said the announcer, who couldn’t be seen on camera. ”I hope Norman gets their ass kicked. … F— them. I hope they lose. C’mon, Midwest City. They’re gonna kneel like that? Hell no.”

The NFHS Network released a statement saying it was “sickened” by the comments made on the broadcast and “aggressively investigating the incident.”

Norman Public Schools Superintendent Nick Migliorino also issued a statement:

Last night during the Norman High School girls’ basketball game versus Midwest City in the Oklahoma 6A State Basketball Tournament, National Federation of High School (NFHS) Network announcers on a live stream broadcast made racist and hateful comments targeted at our Norman High student athletes. The announcers were contracted by OSSAA for the state tournament. 

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. 

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. 

Moving forward NPS will rely only on our long-standing, community partner SportsTalk Media to live stream the remainder of the tournament, as we have full confidence in their proven ability to respectfully support our student athletes. 

The Norman High School Twitter account tweeted out a message of support for the players on Friday featuring a photo of faculty members kneeling on a basketball court.

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