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Undeterred By Racist Slur, Norman High Girls Basketball Team Wins State Title In Undefeated Fashion

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Television broadcaster Matt Rowan let profanities and a racial slur fly toward Norman High School girls' basketball team, as they kneeled during the national anthem before a semi-final game against Midwest City last week.

The Norman High School girls' basketball team overcame ridicule, profanities and racial slurs from an announcer and captured their second consecutive state title Saturday.

On a mic that he thought was off, television broadcaster Matt Rowan let profanities and a racial slur fly toward the team of high school girls, as they kneeled during the national anthem before a semi-final game against Midwest City last week.

Political and local leaders have condemned Rowan's comments and the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association said he wouldn't call games for the remainder of the tournament while they investigated.

But, the Tigers didn't want the words of one broadcaster to throw them off.

"Just hearing those words, what we said, was very heartbreaking," said Norman High forward Chantae Embry. "But we had to push that to the side. Just because we had one goal, [it] was to win the state tournament."

Norman beat Bixby 48 - 37 Saturday to finish the season undefeated, with a record of 19 and 0.

Rowan, who says he has Type 1 diabetes, claims the racist slur was brought on by spiking blood sugar.

For their part, the players say his words were evidence that taking action like kneeling during the anthem continues to be necessary.

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Robby Korth joined StateImpact Oklahoma in October 2019, focusing on education reporting.
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