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#pounditSunday, July 25, 2021

Hornets suspend announcer John Focke over accidental N-word tweet

The Charlotte Hornets announced on Tuesday that they have suspended radio play-by-play announcer John Focke over a tweet he sent that included a racial slur.

Focke, who just finished his first season as a Hornets radio broadcaster, was watching Monday night’s playoff game between the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets when he sent a tweet that included the N-word. Focke said he had no intention of tweeting the racial slur, and it seems very likely that it was a typo.

“Shot making in this Jazz-(N-word) game is awesome! Murray and Mitchell going back and forth what a game!” the tweet read, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.

Focke deleted the tweet and issued an apology not long after.

“Earlier today I made a horrific error while attempting to tweet about the Denver-Utah game,” Focke wrote. “I don’t know how I mistyped, I had (and have) no intention of ever using that word. I take full responsibility for my actions. I have been sick to my stomach about it ever since. I’m truly sorry that this happened and I apologize to those I offended.”

Even with the apology and explanation, the Hornets have still chosen to suspend Focke indefinitely as they “investigate the matter more closely.”

Focke worked for the Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx prior to being hired by Charlotte. He also does a podcast for the Hornets’ website in addition to radio play-by-play announcing.

We’ve seen people in the sports community face serious disciplinary action recently for using racial slurs, but this appears to have been an honest mistake from Focke.

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