Thunder Suspend Brian Davis for Russell Westbrook 'Cotton Picking' Comment

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 13, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 15: The Oklahoma City Thunder logo sits on display on the court before the team played the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2013 NBA Playoffs on May 15, 2013 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Oklahoma City Thunder suspended play-by-play announcer Brian Davis for Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz for saying Russell Westbrook was "out of his cotton-picking mind" during the team's final regular-season game. 

According to Fred Katz of the Norman Transcript, Thunder radio play-by-play announcer Matt Pinto will take Davis' place on FOX Sports Oklahoma for Game 1.

Thunder Vice President of Broadcasting Dan Mahoney told Katz on Thursday that the organization did not agree with Davis' phrasing: "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. But again, we feel strongly that it’s inappropriate and offensive."

While the "cotton-picking" phrase is used at times to express shock, it has racial undertones due to its relation to the practice of slaves being forced to pick cotton prior to emancipation.

In OKC's 137-123 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Westbrook registered six points, 19 assists and 20 rebounds, which helped him average a triple-double for the second consecutive season.

Davis has been part of the Thunder organization since 2004, dating back to their time as the Seattle SuperSonics.

Oklahoma City will begin its playoff run Sunday when it hosts the Jazz in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.


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