UPDATE 2: Hawley ISD issued another update on Monday, Nov. 13:
“Late Friday evening, the individual responsible contacted the superintendent and admitted to making the comments while on a phone call with a family member. The individual was an employee of Hawley ISD but is no longer employed with the district. Our deepest apologies are extended to the communities who have been affected.”
UPDATE: The Hawley ISD superintendent said on Facebook that he has contacted Friday night by the individual “who made the inappropriate comments” during Thursday’s game with Anthony.
“Again, he is not affiliated with Hawley ISD broadcast, no does he represent the thoughts or beliefs of Hawley ISD, Wink ISD or Anthony ISD,” the superintendent said in his statement.
“Hawley ISD will handle appropriate consequences for the comments and does not in any way condone the behavior,” he added.
“Students of all three schools do not deserve to be treated unfairly due to the comments of an adult who was having an inappropriate conversation on their phone in front of a camera,” the statement added.
ORIGINAL STORY: EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A racist comment was made by someone overheard on a hot microphone during the broadcast of the Anthony-Hawley Class 2A Division I Bi-District Playoff game on Thursday night.
An unknown male can be heard at halftime of the game saying about the Anthony High School team, “they’re not very big. I thought they’d be some pretty decent size. You know? Some chalupa-eating bastards, but they’re pretty small, honestly.”
At this time, it is unclear who may have made the remark. The game was being streamed by Wink Independent School District’s YouTube page, but there were no announcers on the broadcast of the neutral site game and the comment was overheard off of a microphone picking up audio from around the stadium.
The comments in the video began to go viral on social media on Friday, after they were posted online.
Wink superintendent Scotty Carman told KTSM that the camera the school uses to stream games on its YouTube page is the football program’s HUDL camera, which automatically activates based on movement on the football field and operates on its own during the game. Carman also told KTSM that the male voice on the broadcast was not a voice he recognized.
Hawley ISD released a statement from superintendent Dr. Cassidy McBrayer, Hawley High School Principal Nikki Grisham and Athletic Director Mitch Ables. Hawley ISD said that it was not their announcers and also apologized to Anthony’s team, while vowing to attempt to determine who the person was that made the comment.
“Late this afternoon, Hawley ISD was made aware of inappropriate comments made during half-time of the playoff game last night. We received a copy of the video, which was captured outside the press box with the NFHS camera that belongs to Wink. Our local announcers were not involved in the incident. We do not even have announcers that were recording in association with that camera link,” the statement reads. “The inappropriate comments were made by a spectator near the press box. As we had not only Hawley ISD, but several Wink ISD fans and students, we are not certain we can identify the individual who made the comments. I am certain that it was not our local announcers. They did not even have connection during half-time. Several individuals who were listening to that broadcast have confirmed that it was not stated by Bearcats announcers, and that our broadcast feed was dead during halftime.”
The statement from Hawley ISD continued, “We do not, IN ANY WAY, condone the behavior, and if we identify that individual as a Hawley staff or student, it will be handled immediately. If the individual is a Hawley fan, we will address that as well. It is heartbreaking that any individual can make such derogatory comments, especially directed at student athletes on either side. Just this morning, I emailed the superintendent, high school principal, and athletic director from Anthony, thanking them for their students’ interactions with our kids. Then, for this to happen this afternoon, is awful. As the superintendent, I personally, would like to express my sincere apologies to the students at Anthony. The comments and behavior are inexcusable. We are angered that Hawley has been portrayed this way, and assure both Anthony and Hawley communities, if we are able to determine the individual responsible, we will address it.”
Anthony ISD sent KTSM the following statement on the incident:
“Anthony ISD expresses profound displeasure regarding the ignorant, stereotypical and condescending comments heard through an unattended hot mic during the Anthony vs. Hawley playoff game on Thursday at Wink, Texas.
Hawley ISD has offered a prompt apology and assured Anthony that the comments did not come from their staff, but rather from an unknown individual.
The regrettable remarks are a disheartening reality of the enduring presence of prejudice that can occur anywhere at any time. The belief that these expressions were articulated by an adult towards teenagers only magnifies the gravity of the situation. No adult should tear down a student/athlete in this despicable manner.
Sports are meant to be a source of enjoyment and a platform for student/athletes to learn about fairness, respect and integrity. We lament that the words of one individual put a dark shadow over the positive experience of participating in competitive sports. Our students made it to the bi-district playoff game this season thanks to their hard work, and we don’t want one individual’s words to overshadow their efforts and accomplishments.
We encourage everyone to be better. Our students deserve to continue pursuing their aspirations wholeheartedly, undeterred by the color of their skin or their background. Everyone needs to stand against racism. Anthony ISD is proud of our students and the Anthony community will always support them.”
On Saturday morning, Nov. 11, Hawley ISD released another statement from superintendent Dr. McBrayer regarding the individual who made the inappropriate comment:
“Late yesterday evening, I was contacted by the individual who made the inappropriate comments during Thursday night’s game. Again, he was not affiliated with the Hawley ISD broadcast, nor does he represent the thoughts or beliefs of Hawley ISD, Wink ISD, or Anthony ISD.
In my post yesterday, I mentioned that Wink ISD had students in the stands, not to blame them for the comments, but to make the point that identifying the person that said it might not be easy. I did not in any way intend to imply the Wink students or staff were responsible. For that assumption it created, I am truly sorry.
Hawley ISD will handle appropriate consequences for the comments and does not in any way condone the behavior. Students of all three schools do not deserve to be treated unfairly due to the comments of an adult who was having an inappropriate conversation on their phone in front of a camera. For the public and communities of all three schools, please support student athletes. They are not involved. To Wink and Anthony ISD, I am truly sorry that our presence in the Wink community resulted in this situation. I ask the public in those communities not to continue the threats and attacks on the Wink school district.“