Racist comments caught on announcers’ mics as high school players knelt for National Anthem

National News

NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Multiple National Federation of High School (NFHS) Network announcers are facing backlash after several racist and hateful comments were caught on a hot mic during a basketball game between Norman and Midwest City high schools.

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.

Dr. Nick Migliorino
Superintendent

Several Norman High players, administrators and local figures took to Twitter to respond as well.

Frankie Parks, NHS Coach: “Hey @NFHSNetwork looks like you forgot to cut the Mic!!! “F****** N******” is the one that really got me!! Tell us how you really feel!! THIS IS WHY THEY KNEEL!!!”

Chantae Embry, NHS senior post: “Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess. disgusting. and people want to know why we kneel. here’s a prime example of why we do it. i’m proud of my team and i for using our voices and being heard. I love my girls & let’s finish. #MORETHANANATHLETE”

Myka Perry, NHS junior guard: “Disrespectful and disgusting. This is why we kneel. I love my sisters, and this makes us that much stronger. You are part of the problem.”

Breea Clark, Norman Mayor (@ClarkForNorman): “I am livid and absolutely disgusted about the racist and hateful comments directed towards the young women on the Norman High School basketball team by a game announcer in the live broadcast of last night’s game.

Emily Virgin, OK House Minority Leader (@EmilyVirginOK): “I am absolutely disgusted by the actions of the broadcasters who used racist slurs against our Norman High basketball team. They should immediately resign or be fired. Our student athletes should be commended for their courage, not disparaged. Heartbreaking.”

“The OSSAA was made aware that some very offensive, inappropriate comments were made during the NFHS livestream broadcast of the quarter final state tournament basketball game between the Norman High School and Midwest City girls teams at Sapulpa High School Thursday night.
On behalf of the NFHS Network and the OSSAA, we sincerely apologize that this happened at one of our events. While we are currently investigating the incident, this crew will not be doing any more games for the remainder of our championships. This kind of behavior will never be tolerated by anyone representing the NFHS or OSSAA. State tournament playoffs are a special time for our schools, their students, and their communities, and anything that is counter-productive to education-based activities will be addressed immediately and appropriately.
We will make further comments as we finish our investigation.”

David Jackson, Executive Director
Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association

We were sickened by the comments made last night at the start of the NFHS Network’s broadcast of the OSSAA girls basketball game between Norman High School and Midwest City High School. The thoughts expressed in no way represent the NFHS Network and we are outraged that they found their way into our production.
The NFHS Network firmly condemns racism, hate and discrimination, and there is no room for this in high school sports or anywhere.
We sincerely apologize to the students, their families and the entire community for having such ignorant comments expressed during the broadcast. We are aggressively investigating the incident and will ensure that any individuals responsible will have no relationship with the NFHS Network moving forward.

National Federation of High School (NFHS) Network

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister made the following remarks, “The remarks made were sickening and vile. It is critical on all of us to be clear that racism has no place in society and must never be tolerated, especially in our public schools. My heart aches for the young female athletes who were subjected to this hateful and disgusting tirade.”

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