Hornets announcer suspended after tweeting N-word instead of ‘Nuggets’



The Charlotte Hornets suspended radio play-by-play announcer John Focke after a tweet he sent Monday about the Denver Nuggets included a racial slur.

Focke’s post about the Utah Jazz/Denver Nuggets playoff game Monday included the N-word instead of “Nuggets,” which he insists was a typo, the Charlotte Observer reports. 

“Shot making in this Jazz-(N-word) game is awesome! Murray and Mitchell going back and forth what a game!” the tweet read.

Focke, who recently completed his first season with the Hornets, apologized via his Twitter account Monday night, blaming the embarrassing error on a typo. He also addressed the matter in an interview with the Observer on Tuesday.

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“I was trying to get it done as fast as I could,” Focke said of the tweet, “so that it was relevant by the time I posted it. I tried to type it and obviously I mistyped the word ‘Nuggets.’ And I did not reread it — which, as you know, that’s rule No. 1 of working in the media. And unfortunately, I didn’t, because I was trying to get it up as fast as possible. And I hit ‘Send.’”

The Charlotte Hornets took to social media to announce Focke’s indefinite suspension over the controversy. 

“The Charlotte Hornets are aware of the recent social media post by radio broadcaster John Focke. As an organization, we do not condone this type of language,” the Hornets’ statement said via Twitter.

“John has been suspended indefinitely as we investigate the matter more closely.”

Focke has taken full responsibility for the tweet. He explained to the Observer that he was typing too quickly without rereading his post before sharing it. He insists he was trying to type “Nuggets,” not the N-word, calling it an “autocorrect” error.

In his apology tweet Monday, he wrote: “Earlier today I made a horrific error while attempting to tweet about the Denver-Utah game. I don’t know how I mistyped, I had (and have) no intention of ever using that word.

“I take full responsibility for my actions. I have been sick to my stomach about it ever since. I’m truly sorry that this happened and I apologize to those I offended.”

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