He said he was type 1 diabetic and that during the game his blood sugar was rising. He offered a “sincere apology” to everyone involved in the game and said it is “not uncommon” for him to become disoriented and say inappropriate and harmful things.
“While the comments I made would seem to indicate that I am racist, I am not,” he said. “I’ve never considered myself a racist and ultimately I can’t explain why I made those comments.”
On Thursday, the Norman High School women’s basketball team was about to play in Midwest City at the Oklahoma 6A State Basketball Tournament, a match that the National Federation of Secondary Associations (NFHS) Network broadcast. live.
A video of the live broadcast shows that when the Norman players knelt during the national anthem, Rowan started throwing insults at them.
“Are they kneeling? F ** king n *** ers,” Rowan is heard to say. “I hope Norman’s ass is fucked.”
After a brief pause, with the National Anthem still playing, the insults continue.
“F ** k,” says Rowan. “I hope you lose.”
“Come to Midwest City: will they kneel like that? Bitch no,” Rowan says.
Rowan uses the same insults once again before the audio of the recording is cut.
The Tahlequah Public Schools Sports Department said in a statement that it hired the crew to broadcast the basketball tournament, but the crew is not part of Tahlequah High School or the athletics department. The school system has terminated the contract with the company, Matt Cloud, TPS sporting director, said in the statement.
CNN has contacted Rowan’s attorney for additional comments, but has not received a response.
“The thoughts expressed in no way represent the NFHS Network and we are outraged that they find their way into our production,” the organization said in a statement. “We are investigating the aggression of the incident and we immediately severed ties with the third-party production crew that was involved.”
CNN’s Konstantin Toropin contributed to this report.
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