Players from the Norman High School girls basketball team have issued statements after announcer Matt Rowan hurled racial slurs at them as they knelt during the national anthem. The racial slurs were captured on a hot mic before being distributed online by several media outlets.
"They're kneeling? F--- them," Matt Rowan said.
"I hope Norman gets their ass kicked. ... F---ing n-----s."
Despite these statements, the Norman High School girls basketball game went on to win that day's playoff game and go on to win the state title. Over the course of two seasons, the school has posted a record of 43-1. Having taken care of business on the court, members of the championship team are now speaking out off the court.
***The video below contains profane and obscene language***
Alongside attorneys Ben Crump and Mike Laux, members of the championship team and their parents hosted a press conference on Monday. The group condemned Rowan's words and called for action.
“Today, we are talking about the courageous act of these young ladies who inspired people beyond just Norman, Oklahoma, beyond just their high school tournament. All across America and people across the world, people have saluted these young ladies for standing up for what is right – to declare that racism has no place in this world," attorney Ben Crump said.
“We all just decided to come as a team and kneel together because we wanted to bring teaching and awareness to the fact that racism is still alive and well today. Just hearing those words and what [the announcer] said was just heartbreaking but we had to push that to the side just because we had one goal and that was to win the state tournament," Norman High School Senior Chantae Embry added.
Rowan was pulled from the remainder of the Oklahoma 6A Basketball Tournament. It is unclear if he will be called back to cover games next season.
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