That Cleburne broadcaster who called Arlington players “Cougroes” is old enough to know better. Or maybe not https://t.co/yrj5LRn7u1— Bud Kennedy (@BudKennedy) October 27, 2017
A Texas high school district has apologized after a high school football broadcaster used a racial slur against a rival team and mocked the weight of one of the cheerleaders.
The Cleburne Independent School District expressed regret for online slurs made by a commentator last week during a match between Cleburne High School and Seguin High School in Arlington. Seguin is located in Arlington while the other school is located at Cleburne, a city south of Fort Worth.
Arlington spokeswoman Leslie Johnston said announcer Mark Banton of JacketRadio.com made racist remarks throughout the match, which the Seguin Cougars won. His station is not affiliated with Cleburne High School, but it currently live broadcast the school district’s football and volleyball game on its website.
Banton repeatedly called the Seguin high school footballers, “Cougroes,” which is believed to be a combination of “Cougars” — the team’s mascot — and the word “negroes.”
Around 37.5 percent of Seguin High School population is African-American while Cleburne High School is only 3.4 percent black, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
When confronted with the accusation of racism, Banton, far from apologizing, said, “I am aware of the accusations and I have nothing to say about it.”
Questioned about whether he would continue to broadcast high school matches, Banton replied, “I guess you'll have to tune in to find out.”
The Arlington school district will not allow Banton to call games involving its teams going forward.
"What was said during that broadcast is not a reflection of our high school, school district and community. When we were contacted by Arlington-Seguin officials of the comments made last Friday night, we immediately addressed the concern. Mr. Banton will not be covering the football game tonight and is no longer associated with JacketRadio.com," the apology statement read.
Banton also reportedly made fun of one of the cheerleaders’ weight as well. To add insult to the injury, he identified her by name.
“Can we talk about that Seguin cheerleader ...? What do you think [inaudible] should do with that?... Jenny Craig has a lot to do — a lot of work to do with her,” he announced.
Johnston also said they did not “condone such boorish behavior.”
Cleburne ISD released the following statement in the aftermath of the incident:
“Remarks expressed were totally uncalled for and we apologize for any embarrassment and hurt they may have caused to the football program, cheerleaders, students and staff of Arlington-Seguin High School, and Arlington ISD. We also want to apologize to Cleburne ISD, the Cleburne community, our sponsors and listeners.”
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Reuters, Mike Blake