Announcers Apologize For Mocking Native American Player’s Name

Wichita, Kansas, USA: 6-2021: Wichita State University Shockers logo outside Koch Arena

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Wichita State basketball player Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler called out CBS Sports Network broadcasters Chick Hernandez and Chris Walker for mocking his name earlier this week, and now he is getting an apology.

Poor Bear-Chandler, who is Native American and a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe, was playing in the Hall of Fame Classic on Monday when Hernandez and Walker began cracking jokes about his last name and referring to him as “Pooh Bear.”

Hernandez joked, “You know opponents are calling him ‘Winnie’ at some point.”

After the game, Poor Bear-Chandler caught wind of the exchange and called out the CBS Sports Network broadcasting duo on social media.

“So it’s okay to make fun of my last name?” Poor-Bear Chandler tweeted. “Just shows your ability to be serious in a professional setting. Just because my people was almost colonized doesn’t mean I don’t know where I come from!”

After being called out for their comments, Hernandez and Walker reportedly met with Poor Bear-Chandler and apologized face-to-face. They also issued an on-air apology for their comments.

“Chris and I would like to take this time to publicly apologize to Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler, his family, the Native American community, NABC, the Hall of Fame Classic for our comments and lack of sensitivity surrounding Isaiah’s name during yesterday’s game,” Hernandez said, via AwfulAnnouncing.com. “We asked for and met with Isaiah this morning to apologize in person and express our deep regret. We appreciate Isaiah taking the time to educate us on the significance of his name and his heritage. We will continue to learn from this and be better moving forward.”

Wichita State also issued a statement, saying they appreciated the actions taken by all parties and the CBS Sports Network broadcaster’s willingness to listen and apologize.

“We are appreciative of CBS Sports Network’s apologetic efforts, both in-person at (the) pre-game meal this morning and on-air during today’s NABC Hall of Fame Classic Championship contest,” the statement read. “To his credit, Isaiah facilitated an educational and enlightening discussion engaging numerous individuals, including CBS Sports Network’s on-air talent. Isaiah strongly desires for this unfortunate circumstance to serve as a positive learning opportunity in support of the Indigenous community.”

Wichita State fell to San Francisco, 67-63, in the Hall of Fame Classic championship game and will return to action on Saturday afternoon against Tarleton State at Charles Koch Arena.

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