Iowa Announcer Suspended for Saying Player Dominated the Court Like ‘King Kong’

Bruno Fernando
Getty Images

Iowa basketball radio play-by-play man Gary Dolphin, has been suspended indefinitely for saying that a black player was dominating the game like “King Kong.”

During Tuesday’s game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Maryland Terrapins, Dolphin likened African American player Bruno Fernando as the famed horror movie beast for scoring the game-winning points on a tip-in with 7.8 seconds to go, the Quad-City Times reported.

As he described those final minutes, Dolphin ended his description saying, “And then Fernando was King Kong at the end of the game.”

After the blowback began, Dolphin released an apology:

During the broadcast, I used a comparison when trying to describe a talented Maryland basketball player. In no way did I intend to offend or disparage the player. I take full responsibility for my inappropriate word choice and offer a sincere apology to him and anyone else who was offended. I wish the Iowa Hawkeye players, coaches and fans all the very best as they head into the final stretch of the season. I will use this as an opportunity to grow as a person and learn more about unconscious bias.

But the apology did not assuage Iowa coach Fran McCaffery who called the incident “inexcusable.” For his part, Iowa athletic director Gary Barta hinted that there are “ongoing tensions” between Dolphin and the school.

By Wednesday, Dolphin, who has announced Iowa basketball for 22 years, was removed from the air.

The school announced that Dolphin has been suspended for the rest of the season, according to KCCI.

Along with its announcement, the school said it “values diversity and is committed to creating a welcoming environment for all members of its campus community.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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