Another racist who thinks we are all stupid

Another racist who thinks we are all stupid

Remember the cowboy from Columbia Falls who held up the “FTI” sign when the Wildkats played Browning in the Western A Divisional girls’ basketball tournament a couple of years ago?

Well, that guy might finally be off the hook. He might no longer be the dumbest man alive. At the very least, the cowboy might no longer be the sole recipient of that honor.

Mr. Cowboy, meet Matt Rowan.

He is the owner and operator of the streaming service OSPN. He is the guy who dropped a racial epithet at girls’ basketball players form Norman, Oklahoma because the players took a knee during the national anthem before their quarterfinal game against Midwest City last week.

Rowan did not realize he was talking into a “hot mic,” and his comments were broadcast live. That disgusting moment went viral.

Here is what Rowan interrupted his mid-anthem conversation to say when he saw the eventual state champion players taking a knee.

“They’re kneeling? (Expletive) (racial slur). I hope Norman get their ass kicked. (Expletive) them. I hope they lose…

“They’re going to kneel like that? Hell no.”

What puts this on the same level of dumb as the Columbia Falls cowboy was Rowan’s explanation for his racism. More on that later.

Rowan’s actions, though, pretty much sum up the national reaction to athletes taking a knee during the national anthem that we have been dealing with the last several years. At least it sums it up for those who are most vocal about it.

If you watch the viral video, you will hear that Rowan and his partner were talking and completely ignoring the national anthem. Then, when Rowan noticed that the players were all on their knees as they stayed silent to show respect during the anthem, he dropped a racial slur.

The announcer showed his true reasons for his outrage. It is racism, not patriotism.

That is true for so many people who feign outrage about players like Colin Kaepernick taking a knee to raise awareness for social injustice. Rowan was just silly enough to say it in to a “hot mic.”

Not everyone who is angry with the way athletes have chosen to take a knee are phony and racist. Many of them are generally offended because they bleed Red, White and Blue. While they seem to forget that the flag stands for freedom, their feelings are genuine.

So many, though, just use the anthem as a way to vent at the people they did not particularly like in the first place.

That is pretty apparent to anyone who has been to a high school sporting event. When the national anthem is played, people stand and face the flag. Many even put their hand over their hearts.

So many, though, do not even pay attention to the anthem. Many continue their conversation or look around others in the arena.

At a game recently, a friend asked, “How many people even looked at the flag?” Since I was one who was, I did not know the answer. But I could tell by the tone of his question that it was a small percentage.

That tournament, by the way, was run differently than usual because of the pandemic. The games were spaced out, and the crowds were cleared out between games.

Then, the anthem was played again before each game. That means media members and tournament workers had to stand for the national anthem four times each day of the tournament.

Kim Jong-un would think that that show of patriotism was a bit much.

I have long said that playing the national anthem before every high school sporting event is over the top. It is also too much to play the national anthem before every college and professional game.

You know when people form most countries stand for their national anthem before sporting events? When they are international games. Even in the countries that are not free.

Also, do you know that on nearly half of the national anthems played so far during local sporting this current school year, the song has started several bars into the song? By the time it gets over the speakers, we already missed the “dawn’s early light” and are well on our way to the “twilight’s last gleaming.”

The national anthem is special. If you are not going to do it right, do not do it at all. If we do not have a person there to sing it or a band to play it, we should just move onto the starting lineups.

See, I love the anthem as much or more as the next guy. I love hearing it played well. I will never forget hearing Andy Larson sign the song before the 1991 Butte High-Butte Central boys’ basketball game.

We were in the middle of the Gulf War, and tears streamed down my face as Andy sang the anthem right after a perfect rendition of God Bless the USA.

To this day, I still get misty when I see Whitney Houston’s national anthem before the 1991 Super Bowl.

Playing the anthem on a CD before every single sporting event has cheapened it. It has led to fewer people paying attention. It has led to announcers talking through the anthem on hot mics.

It has led to another example of a racist making up a lame excuse for his racism.

The Columbia Falls cowboy told us that his “FTI” sign meant “For Ty and Indy.” Ty is his friend, and Indy is his dog. Dogs, notably, cannot read.

Since the Wildkats were playing the Browning Indians at the time, you would have to believe that the cowboy is either the dumbest person alive or an ugly racist. Or both.

Rowan wants us to believe that his diabetes and spiking blood sugar are to blame for his racist remarks.

“I will state that I suffer Type 1 Diabetes and during the game my sugar was spiking,” Rowan said in a written statement. “While not excusing my remarks it is not unusual when my sugar spikes that I become disoriented and often say things that are not appropriate as well as hurtful. I do not believe that I would have made such horrible statements absent my sugar spiking.”

He wants us all to believe his life is like a Snickers commercial. You know that commercial where the guy playing football turns into Betty White? He snaps out of it when his girlfriend gives him a candy bar.

In this case, though, Rowan apparently turned in to the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan when his blood sugar is off.

What it is it about racists that makes them turn into cowards when they are caught on tape? Why can they just not own their comments instead of adding insult to injury by thinking we will buy an excuse that makes “my dog ate my homework” seem like a reasonable explanation?

We know the cowboy just does not like Native Americans because nobody holds up a sign to honor his dog at a high school girls’ basketball game.

We also know diabetes does not make you racist.

That the announcer thought for a second that anyone would buy that reasoning only proves that the cowboy is no longer the sole holder of the title “dumbest man alive.”

Mr. Rowan, meet Mr. Cowboy.

— Bill Foley, who could really use a Snickers, writes a column that appears Tuesdays on Email him at Follow him at 1 comment

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1 Comment

  • Geoff Gallus
    March 19, 2021, 1:49 am

    Bill has again written an outstanding piece here. Very well done.


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