Norman Public Schools condemned the racist comments of an announcer during Thursday's online broadcast of a Norman-Midwest City girls basketball playoff game played in Sapulpa.
As the broadcast enters a commercial break, an unidentified announcer expressed disdain for one of the teams kneeling during the national anthem.
"They're kneeling?" the announcer initially asked.
After it was pointed out that the Norman team took a knee during the anthem, the announcer continued.
"I hope Norman gets their a-- kicked," the announcer said. "F------ n------."
Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association executive director David Jackson apologized on behalf of the association and the National Federation High School network. Jackson said the broadcast crew who worked the game in Sapulpa "will not be doing any more games for the remainder of our championships."
The OSSAA said it will comment further at the conclusion of its own investigation into the incident.
Norman Public Schools superintendent Dr. Nick Migliorino discussed in a statement Friday morning.
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.
Mid-Del Public Schools superintendent Dr. Rick Cobb released a statement on behalf of the district just before noon Friday.
Last night during the girls' 6A playoff basketball game between Midwest City High School and Norman High School, the announcers on a live stream broadcast made racist statements about student athletes on the court. Language of this kind is an affront to the lessons we try to teach our students and the kind of world in which we all want to live. The announcers work for the National Federation of High School (NFHS), which is contracted by the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA) for the state tournament. They are not affiliated with Mid-Del Schools in any way. We know that OSSAA is aware of this situation and we are hopeful that OSSAA will remove NFHS from the rest of the tournament and review any future contracts they have for broadcasting school activities in our state.
State superintendent Joy Hofmeister released a statement of her own, saying in part, "My heart aches for the young female athletes who were subjected to this hateful and disgusting tirade."
News 9 and News On 6 will have more on this story coming up tonight at 5 p.m.