The Oklahoma City Thunder have suspended their TV play-by-play announcer for one game after his on-air use of the phrase “out of his cotton-pickin’ mind” to describe star player Russell Westbrook, the team announced Friday.
Brian Davis used the phrase during the previous night’s game against Memphis, after Westbrook made a tricky pass to set up teammate Terrance Ferguson’s three-pointer. The team’s radio play-by-play announcer, Matt Pitino, will replace Davis for the opening game of the Thunder’s playoff series against the Utah Jazz on Sunday.
“It is with great remorse and humility that I accept this suspension for the insensitive words I used during Wednesday’s broadcast,” Davis said in a statement issued by the Thunder. “While unintentional, I understand and acknowledge the gravity of the situation. I offer my sincere apology and realize that, while I committed a lapse in judgement, such mistakes come with consequences. This is an appropriate consequence for my actions.”
Thunder vice president of broadcasting Dan Mahoney told the Norman Transcript: “We think obviously the use of that term was offensive and inappropriate, and I expressed that to Brian last night. Brian assures me that it was not meant in any derogatory way, and he apologizes.”
Davis is white and in his 10th season as the Thunder’s play-by-play voice. Westbrook is black.
When asked if Davis would comment on the matter during a future broadcast, Mahoney said Thursday: “That’s really up to Brian. Again, we’ve expressed to him strongly that it was offensive and inappropriate, and that’s all we can do for right now.”
1:40 p.m.: This article was updated with Davis receiving a one-game suspension and a statement from Davis.
This article was originally published at 7:45 a.m.