On Thursday, during a high school girls basketball playoff game in Oklahoma, Matt Rowan, who was announcing the game for the NFHS Network’s online broadcast, flipped out when he saw one of the teams kneeling during the National Anthem.
Assuming the microphone was off during the song, Rowan unleashed a racist diatribe against the Norman High School athletes:
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!!!@Migliorino_Nick @tohara_o @NHS_AthDept @gonormantigers pic.twitter.com/mmWQAecLaF
— Frankie Parks (@CoachFParks) March 12, 2021
“They’re kneeling?” The announcer said. “F***ing n******. I hope Norman gets their ass kicked … F*** them. I hope they lose.
“They’re going to kneel like that? Hell no.”
It would’ve been bad enough to say without the racial slur and profanity. But those comments certainly turned a local problem into a national one.
Since that game on Thursday night, Norman Public Schools superintendent Dr. Nick Migliorino said the district won’t work with the NFHS Network for the remainder of the tournament, while the NFHS Network says it’s investigating the matter and “will have no relationship” with anyone responsible for the incident.
But the most jaw-dropping response comes from Rowan himself. He’s now blaming his racism on… diabetes. (The Twinkie Defense lives on.) And Rowan really really really wants you to know he’s a religious man.
The announcer who made the racist statements is partially blaming it on low blood sugar. pic.twitter.com/6cTwIZdJZI
— Dylan Goforth (@DGoforth918) March 12, 2021
“I made inappropriate and racist comments believing the microphone was off, however let me state immediately that is no excuse such comments should have never been uttered,” Rowan said in a statement, in part. “I am a family man. I am married, have two children and at one time was a youth pastor. I continue to be a member of the Baptist church. I have not only embarrassed and disappointed my family and friends.
“I will state that I suffer Type 1 Diabetes and during the game my sugar was spiking. 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.“
Someone give me a high five: I predicted “Baptist” as soon as I heard the words “Oklahoma” and “racist.” And a former youth pastor, too! That’s icing on the cake right there. What’s amazing is that he thinks those details will absolve him when they really just make his guilt even more apparent. At this point, it’d be far more surprising if a Baptist youth pastor from Oklahoma wasn’t racist.
It’s not clear which church he belongs to, but Beth Moore‘s decision to leave the Southern Baptist Convention in part because of its inability to stop being racist looks even better today.
It’s also telling that Rowan readily admits he made the comments “believing the microphone was off” — as if everything would’ve been fine had his words just not gone public.
And like all racists who have to apologize, Rowan denied being racist:
While the comments I made would certainly seem to indicate that I am racist, I am not, I have never considered myself to be racist…
Well, it’s not up to him to decide. It’s up to everyone else. And speaking on behalf of everyone else, Matt Rowan is racist. (Just ask the people leaving reviews on the Facebook page for his business, American Lock Shop LLC.)
By the way, his colleague in the broadcast booth that night, Scott Sapulpa, didn’t make the racist comments, but he didn’t push back against them either. He’s complicit in the matter.
(Thanks to @redforkian for the link)