A high school basketball game announcer is facing a wave of outrage after he was caught using a racial epithet against female players who kneeled during the playing of the national anthem.
The incident was recorded during a game in Oklahoma where players on the Norman High School girls' basketball team decided to join in the familiar protest.
Video of the alarming exchange between two announcers made its way to social media where it quickly went viral.
"They're kneeling?" said one voice in shock.
"I hope Norman gets their asses kicked," can be heard on the recording later.
"F***ing n*****s," he adds.
Officials immediately denounced the incident and said they were taking steps to make sure the announcer would not be working their games any longer.
"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," said a statement from Norman Public Schools Superintendent Nick Migliorino. "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."
Migliorino said the school would no longer use the network that provided the announcers and would replace them immediately.
On Friday, the announcer released a statement apologizing for his actions and blaming his diabetes.
"I, Matt Roman, on Thursday, March 11, 2021, most regrettably made some statements that cannot be taken back," read the statement. "During the Norman High School girls basketball game against Midwest City, 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.
"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 statement absent my sugar spiking," he added.
Roman went on to apologize to the players, their families, their coaches, and their entire school system.
"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, and in short cannot explain why I made these comments," Roman explained.
Here's a local news report about the incident:
Announcer caught on hot mic using racial slur as high school players knelt for National Anthem www.youtube.com