Charlotte Hornets announcer John Focke just joined a club he likely wanted no part of.
Focke is the latest sports media member to lose his job over a controversial comment. During a recent playoff game, Focke made an unfortunate typo that exchanged a team name with a racial slur.
Here’s more on why the Charlotte Hornets parted ways with Focke.
John Focke is a veteran announcer
A longtime Minneapolis sports personality, John Focke joined the Charlotte Hornets in April 2019.
Focke previously served as the studio host for the Minnesota Timberwolves radio network. He also worked as the station’s executive producer.
Focke called the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx games from 2012 through the time he arrived in North Carolina.
The 2017 Minnesota Sportscaster of the Year, Focke served as the Hornets’ play-by-play voice this past season.
John Focke lost his job over a tweet
During a recent playoff game between the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz, Focke released a tweet that contained a racial slur.
Focke said it was a typo that caused the racial slur, which replaced the word “Nuggets.” Charlotte suspended Focke indefinitely before they parted ways with him.
Charlotte said Focke “will not return as the team’s radio broadcaster due to a violation of the organization’s social media policy.”
It is not known how long Focke was under contract for.
In an August 18 interview with The Charlotte Observer, Focke said the tweet truly was a typo.
“I tried to type it and obviously I mis-typed 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.’ ”
Charlotte has not yet announced who will replace Focke. This will be the third time in as many seasons the Hornets have a different radio play-by-play announcer.
Chris Kroeger was relieved of his duties in March of 2019, the middle of his first season with the team.
Charlotte never explained why Kroeger did not return to the booth.
Multiple announcers have lost their jobs over bad comments this year
John Focke is the latest broadcaster to lose his job over a controversial comment or tweet.
Sacramento Kings radio announcer Grant Napear lost his radio show in June after he tweeted “All Lives Matter.” Napear also resigned from his job with the Kings.
The phrase is considered dismissive of the Black Lives Matter movement and pursuit of equality.
ESPN left Dave LaMont off the network’s college football coverage. During a conference call in June, LaMont reportedly said Maria Taylor — who is Black — was “venting” while discussing the death of George Floyd.
LaMont told the New York Post he believed his phone was muted while he spoke with his wife.
Taylor reportedly ripped LaMont and warned him about “ramifications” if he did not stop speaking. LaMont stopped talking after Taylor intervened.
Longtime NHL announcer Mike Millsbury voluntarily left NBC’s coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after he made comments many viewed as misogynistic.
Milbury praised the NHL’s bubble because there weren’t “even any woman here to disrupt your concentration.”