(ABC News) – An Oklahoma school district has issued an apology after a longtime sports announcer called the names of the opposing team “pretty disgusting” at the start of a high school girls basketball game.
Lorna Pollard, whose daughter plays on the basketball team for Crooked Oak High School in Oklahoma City, filmed the beginning of the game against Newkirk High School on Friday night as the starting players lined up to have their names announced.
In the video, the announcer can be heard saying, “Now their names are pretty disgusting, but I’m going to try to call them out,” while apparently referring to the visiting team.
Pollard later posted the video to Facebook, stating that people at Newkirk initially tried to defend the announcer, “that the man was old and he didn’t mean it like that.”
“But that’s exactly what he meant,” Pollard wrote. “…there is no excuse or ignorance in 2020.”
The principal of Crooked Oak High School, Laura Knight, who wrote on Facebook that she was at the game, described the announcer’s comments as “shocking.”
Knight then encouraged naysayers to “give the appropriate people a chance to handle things,” stating that school administration removed the announcer and replaced him “with a person that went to lengths to ensure that everything else was announced correctly.”
“Their administration sought out ours to apologize,” Knight wrote. “Their fans, administrations and coaches treated us well. I know that does not take away the hurt, but please know that they took care of it, it was not ignored.”
Newkirk Public Schools Superintendent Brady Barnes issued an apology on Saturday morning, saying that the longtime announcer “made an unfortunate and inappropriate personal comment.”
“In around 20 years of announcing Newkirk games, this is the first time something like this has occurred,” the statement read. “While he did not make any similar comments, I made the decision to replace him at halftime.”
Brady said the comment “does not represent the Newkirk Public Schools or its beliefs” and apologized “for any pain or affront” the comment caused to Crooked Oak’s players, parents, patrons and school employees.
The superintendent did not speak to “whatever personnel actions may be taken in the future.”
Crooked Oak won the game to become district champions, and the players handled the moment of adversity “beautifully,” Knight wrote.