Announcer Says Black Player Is 'Out Of His Cotton-Picking Mind'

Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on during the first half of a NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans

Dan Mahoney, the Thunder's vice president of broadcasting and corporate communications, said the team considered the comment "inappropriate".

Davis made the comments during the second quarter of the Thunder's season-closing win over the Grizzlies, when he referred to Russell Westbrook as "out of his cotton pickin' mind".

During the game, play-by-play announcer Brian Davis said player Russell Westbrook was "out of his cotton-picking mind".

Davis used the term to describe Westbrook's play in the second quarter, while the superstar point guard was on his way to becoming the first National Basketball Association player to average a triple-double in two seasons.

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People immediately saw the announcer's comment for what it was: an incredibly dumb thing to say. Its origins are traced back to slavery in the southern United States, when black slaves were forced to harvest cotton. 'Brian assures me that it was not meant in any derogatory way, and he apologizes.

Following that game, the OKC Thunder would release a statement condemning his racially insensitive language, and Davis would up apologizing. "While unintentional, I understand and acknowledge the gravity of the situation", he said. "This is an appropriate effect for my actions", Davis concluded. 'Again, we've expressed to him strongly that it was offensive and inappropriate, and that's all we can do for right now'.

Mahoney also told Katz the Thunder would not make Davis address the comments on a future broadcast.

The Thunder next play the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs on Sunday.



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