Thunder Announcer Apologizes for Russell Westbrook Cotton Picking Reference

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2018

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 09: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looking to pass during the game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on April 9, 2018 in Miami, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by B51/Mark Brown/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Russell Westbrook
B51/Mark Brown/Getty Images

Oklahoma City Thunder play-by-play announcer Brian Davis apologized to the team for a comment he made during the team's 137-123 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

During the second quarter of the game, Davis described Thunder star Russell Westbrook as "out of his cotton-pickin' mind."

In a statement to the Norman Transcript's Fred Katz, Thunder vice president of broadcasting Dan Mahoney denounced the remark and said Davis had offered an apology.

"We think obviously the use of that term was offensive and inappropriate, and I expressed that to Brian last night," Mahoney said. "Brian assures me that it was not meant in any derogatory way, and he apologizes. But again, we feel strongly that it’s inappropriate and offensive."

Mahoney went on to say it's "really up to Brian" as to whether Davis addresses the situation when he returns to the broadcast booth Sunday for the Thunder's playoff game against the Utah Jazz.

The Washington Post's Matt Bonesteel noted the adjective "cotton-picking" generally connotes a feeling of either exasperation or astonishment but "has mostly fallen from use, likely because of its surface connections to a time when black slaves picked cotton in the United States."

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