Thunder Announcer's Comments "Offensive & Inappropriate"
Thunder VP/Broadcasting & Corporate Communications Dan Mahoney said that the team believes play-by-play announcer Brian Davis' racially insensitive remarks on Wednesday were "offensive and inappropriate," according to Fred Katz of the NORMAN TRANSCRIPT. Davis during the regular-season finale "referred to Russell Westbrook as 'out of his cotton pickin' mind.'" Mahoney said, "Brian assures me that it was not meant in any derogatory way, and he apologizes. But again, we feel strongly that it's inappropriate and offensive." It is yet to be determined if Davis will "address his comments on a future broadcast" (NORMAN TRANSCRIPT, 4/13). The phrase "loosely means 'crazy,'" and has its origins in "describing workers who harvested cotton crops in the South." It is often "perceived as derogatory, with racial overtones," and Davis' use of the phrase "set off a firestorm on social media" (ESPN.com, 4/12). ESPN's Will Cain said that the comment probably "was not intended with any malicious or racist intent," but that "doesn't mean it's right." Cain: "It's also used by people from every side of the racial spectrum. ...It is not something that people have uttered for quite some time meant to evoke racist intentions. ... He didn't say anything with racist or malicious intent" ("The Will Cain Show," ESPN Radio, 4/12).