Sponsors exit after racist comments toward Norman girls basketball team

Mike Seals - March 15, 2021 10:33 pm

The National Federation of State High School Associations is losing sponsors after an announcer made racist comments toward the now 6A state champion Norman High School girls basketball team.

Fastenal, an industrial supplies company, said it’ll no longer sponsor Matt Rowan and his company, OSPN Live. On Friday, Rowan admitted to being the voice behind a racist rant targeting members of the Norman girls basketball team while they took a knee during the national anthem.

“We do not support this type of behavior and have officially severed ties,” the company said.

Rowan spoke exclusively with KOCO 5 on Friday, when he partially blamed his diabetes for the incident.

“I absolutely am horrified by my actions, and I am so sorry,” Rowan said. “I do understand, and I’ve read more about kneeling today than I’ve ever read in my life. I mean, I do understand that. I understand they need to kneel for their reasons, and I had no right to infringe on their right to kneel and to display their patriotism in that way.”

David Jackson, with the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association, said in a statement that they are committed to making sure the NFHS Network will never contract with him or his company again to broadcast OSSAA events.

Moore Public Schools terminated its existing contract with the NFHS Network, saying “hate speech has no place in our schools and society.”

 

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