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Thunder broadcaster is suspended one game for ‘offensive and inappropriate’ description of Russell Westbrook

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.”

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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.”

charles.schilken@latimes.com

Twitter: @chewkiii

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UPDATES:

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.


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