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Thunder issue statement on announcer’s ‘cotton-picking’ statement

April 12 (UPI) — The Oklahoma City Thunder issued a statement Thursday after an play-by-play announcer made racially insensitive comments.

Brian Davis said that Thunder star Russell Westbrook was “out of his cotton-picking mind” during the Thunder’s 137-123 win against the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

The comment came in the second quarter of the game after Westbrook got an assist.

“We find the term used by Brian Davis on our broadcast last night to be highly inappropriate and offensive,” the team said in a statement, according to TMZ.

“We’ve discussed it with the announcer and let him know that. He assures us it was not meant in any sort of offensive or derogatory manner and he apologizes.”

“Nonetheless, he’s been told the use of that term in any manner is unacceptable.”

Thunder vice president of broadcasting Dan Mahoney offered another statement to the Norman Transcript.

“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.”

Davis is a full-time employee of the Thunder. He has done play-by-play for the team for eight seasons. The announcer previously covered the Chicago Bulls and Seattle SuperSonics.

Westbrook scored six points and had 20 rebounds and 19 assists in the Thunder’s win. He has averaged a triple-double in back-to-back seasons.

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