The Oklahoma high school basketball announcer who called players who kneeled during the national anthem “niggers” has issued an apology and blamed the use of the racial slur on his Type 1 diabetes.
On Thursday (March 11), Matt Rowan went on a racist tirade after seeing the girls silently protest racial inequality. “They’re kneeling? Fuckin’ niggers,” he said, thinking that his microphone was off. “I hope Norman [High School] gets their ass kicked. Fuck them. I hope they lose. C’mon Midwest City. They’re gonna kneel like that? Hell no.”
Rowan released a statement through his lawyer on Friday (March 12) saying that he “most regrettably made some statements that can't be taken back,” even though he initially claimed he wasn't the one who made the remarks.
He continued, “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.”
“I am a family man. I am married, have two children and at one time, I was a youth pastor. I continue to be a member of a Baptist church,” Rowan continued. “I have not only embarrassed and disappointed myself, I have embarrassed and disappointed my family and my friends.”
The basketball announcer then went on to blame his outburst on his “spiking” sugar levels. “I will state that I suffer Type 1 Diabetes and during the game, my sugar was spiking,” he added. “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 Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) — which hired the game announcers — says they are currently investigating the incident.
Check out Rowan’s full statement below.