Oklahoma Racist Claims Diabetes Made Him Call High School Girls The N-Word
Diabetes doesn't make you racist. My grandmother was diabetic. She wasn't racist. She was the nicest woman in the world, despite growing up among the most racist assholes you'd ever want to meet. She just paid the price for her love of strawberry honeybuns.
I bring this up because of high school sports announcer Matt Rowan, who made racist remarks on a hot mic and blamed his diabetes. Rowan was covering a game between Norman High School and Midwest City in the Oklahoma 6A State Basketball Tournament. The players kneeled during the National Anthem, which is a peaceful form of protest. Unlike breaking into the US Capitol.
From CBS News:
When girls from Norman High kneeled, broadcaster Rowan immediately criticized them, saying, "I hope Norman gets their ass kicked."
"F*** them. I hope they lose," he said. "...If they're going to kneel like that, hell no."
He then called the students the N-word. Video of the live broadcast was recorded and shared online.
White racists have really overreacted to Black people kneeling. Kneeling was good enough for the Queen but now they act like we're flipping them the bird.
Rowan, a former youth pastor, released one of those “I'm obviously not a racist because I'm not literally a member of the Klan" statements, but he jazzed it up with this nonsense:
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.
Racism is not a side effect of diabetes. Slavery, lynchings, and Jim Crow laws aren't the result of a diet rich in baked mac and cheese, candied yams, and pecan pie.
Rowan went on to insist that despite his gross racist statements about teenage girls, he's obviously not racist because he's objectively not racist. It's like discussing American history with a conservative. Rowan can't explain why he said what he did. It's the riddle of the Sphinx, if the Sphinx was a disgusting 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, and in short cannot explain why I made these comments.
After the video of his outburst went viral, Rowan initially refused to identify himself as the racist on the hot mic. He only confirmed that it wasn't co-announcer Scott Sapulpa. He's both a racist and a coward. You can't change when you won't accept who you truly are. Rowan personifies America's entire approach to racism.
every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess. disgusting. and people want to know why we kneel. here’s a pri… https://t.co/G1bOuAtstv— Chantae Embry (@Chantae Embry)1615563970.0
Norman Mayor Breea Clark tweeted:
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. These young athletes were simply expressing themselves as hundreds of professional athletes around the nation have done, and no one, let alone a child, deserves to experience this kind of racist and toxic behavior. The announcer could've stopped with declaring he hoped our team would lose, but instead he went further and decided to use profanity and racist slurs about our children. Join me in calling for the @OSSAAOnline to end their contract w/ the National Federation of High School (NFHS) Network. Their employees do not need to be anywhere near children.
The New York Times confirmed that the broadcast team wouldn't be used for the rest of the tournament, and the matter is currently under investigation.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas was horrified that associate attorney general nominee Vanita Gupta would dare believe all Americans have implicit biases against other races. Deep down, everyone is that "Ebony and Ivory" song. Whenever a white person gets drunk and lets fly a racist rant, we're supposed to believe it's the booze that's racist, or the Ambien. Blood sugar can also apparently spike to a level that triggers an Archie Bunker episode. The fault lies in external stars. That's easier to accept that the reality that some people are just-plain racist and when their inhibitions are lowered, the racism reveals itself in a nasty way, like Jeffrey Toobin at a company Zoom meeting.
The Norman High Lady Tigers won the state championship. Still, these girls were called the "n-word" in 2021. Every Black child eventually receives their share of America's racist inheritance.
The faculty at Norman High School released a moving video supporting the team.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."