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.”
Charlotte Hornets Statement: pic.twitter.com/4RaDvcSfHU
— Charlotte Hornets PR (@HornetsPR) August 18, 2020
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.