Charlotte Hornets play-by-play commentator John Focke has been suspended indefinitely by the franchise. This comes in the wake of a racially inappropriate tweet from the announcer.
In a now-deleted tweet, John Focke stated the following while commenting on the Jazz-Nuggets game yesterday:
Shot-making in the Jazz-Ni****s game is awesome! Murray and Mitchell going back and forth what a game!
The tweet was absolutely taken apart by the NBA fraternity and Locke was called out for being insensitive and unprofessional, despite being in the business for so long.
John Focke takes responsibility for his tweet
He apologized later in a follow-up tweet.
“Earlier today I made a horrific error while attempting to tweet about the Denver-Utah game,” he 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.”
— John Focke (@JWFOCKE) August 18, 2020
Focke was previously a broadcaster based in Minneapolis. He commentated for the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. He is in his first season with the Hornets organization. Focke also contributes to a weekly podcast in conjunction with his radio responsibilities.
Racism is something that hasn’t been tolerated by the NBA, either in the past or in the current climate. The league has been extremely active in promoting racial equality. The message ‘Black Lives Matter’ inscribed on the hardwood is just one example of their efforts in that direction.
Whether or not Focke meant to use the N-word, he should have been much more conscious about proofreading his tweet. Even though ‘r’ is right next to ‘t’, and ‘i’ is next to ‘u’ on the keyboard, it’s a tough error to make. Fat fingers aren’t a satisfactory explanation for this fiasco.