Matt Rowan Wiki – Matt Rowan Bio
Matt Rowan is an announcer for an online broadcast directed highly inflammatory, racist comments toward the Norman girls basketball team ahead of its quarterfinal matchup with Midwest City on Thursday at Sapulpa.
The owner and operator of the streaming service OSPN told The Oklahoman he was the person who made the racially insensitive remarks.
His age is unclear.
Matt Rowan Racist Comments
A live microphone caught him making racist comments after members of the Norman girls basketball team kneeled for the national anthem.
Rowan, while broadcasting on the NFHS Network, can be heard saying, “They’re kneeling? (Expletive) (racial slur). I hope Norman gets their ass kicked. (Expletive) them. I hope they lose…
“They’re going to kneel like that? Hell no.”
Rowan apologized Friday and blamed his use of racist language on his blood sugar levels.
“I will state that I suffer Type 1 Diabetes and during the game my sugar was spiking,” Rowan said in a written statement. “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.”
The Norman girls basketball team played Tulsa Union on Friday in the semifinals at Sapulpa. Spectators applauded as both teams kneeled during the national anthem.
Video of Rowan’s comments went viral Friday morning. Norman Public Schools Superintendent Nick Migliorino released a statement condemning Rowan’s “disgusting words” as hate speech.
Hey @NFHSNetwork looks like you forgot to cut the Mic!!! "F****** N******" is the one that really got me!! Tell us how you really feel!! THIS IS WHY THEY KNEEL!!!@Migliorino_Nick @tohara_o @NHS_AthDept @gonormantigers pic.twitter.com/mmWQAecLaF
— Frankie Parks (@CoachFParks) March 12, 2021
“We fully support our students’ right to freedom of expression and our immediate focus is to support these girls and their coaches and families, particularly our Black students and coaching staff,” Migliorino said. “It is tragic that the hard work and skill of this team is being overshadowed by the vile, malignant words of these individuals. We will do everything in our power to support and uplift our team and everyone affected by this incident.”
The Norman school district will rely solely on its long-standing community partner SportsTalk Media to live stream the remainder of the tournament, Migliorino said.
Tahlequah Public Schools said Friday afternoon in a Facebook post that it has used the same broadcast crew in the past but will not moving forward.
The NFHS said it was “sickened” by Rowan’s comments.
“The thoughts expressed in no way represent the NFHS Network and we are outraged that they found their way into our production,” the network said in a statement. “We sincerely apologize to the students, their families, and the entire community for having such ignorant comments expressed during the broadcast. We are aggressively investigating the incident and will ensure that any individuals responsible will have no relationship with the NFHS Network moving forward.”
Norman Mayor Statement
Norman Mayor Breea Clark said a statement isn’t enough from the network or the OSSAA. To prevent a similar incident from happening again, she urged for measurable action from the OSSAA, such as implicit bias training or screening of the announcers hired for Oklahoma high school games.
Clark said she would host a town hall with Norman youth to hear their input. The mayor has been in contact with parents of the players targeted with racial slurs.
“I asked, ‘How is your daughter doing?'” Clark said. “She said her response was, ‘This is why we kneel,’ because there’s a problem. These brave young women aren’t afraid to address it and call it out when they see it. They’re real heroes in this situation.”