Iowa has suspended their play-by-play announcer, Gary Dolphin, for the remainder of the season after he referred to an African-born player as “King Kong” for his dominance in the game.
After Maryland’s star center Bruno Fernando tipped in a game winner over five Hawkeye’s defenders, the longtime announcer made this statement:
“Twelve 3s on 22 made baskets. That’s some pretty good long-range shooting,” Dolphin said. “And then Fernando was King Kong at the end of the game.”
Here's audio of Gary Dolphin comparing a Maryland player to King Kong. It's provided by Hawkeye Sports Properties, which suspended Dolphin for the remainder of the season. pic.twitter.com/q6KA0QRuRZ
— Scott Reister (@scottreister) February 22, 2019
If you were wondering, yes, all five Iowa players surrounded Bruno Fernando when he tipped in the game-winner. pic.twitter.com/0arwbcYhn1
— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) February 20, 2019
Fernando was born in Angola, and had been a dominant force this season. Dolphin was cirtized for the comment, due to many believing it was “racist” and in poor judgement. Other’s believe he just meant it in an athletic dominance manner. Dolphin did release this statement:
“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,” Dolphin said. “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.”
Dolphin was already suspended once on the season after he made comment’s on Maishe Dailey’s decision making during a commercial break. It turned out that his audio was still on air.
“We get Maishe Dailey,” Dolphin said. “Dribbles into a double-team with his head down. God.”
An online digital petition has been going around for Dolphin to be reinstated.