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During the second quarter of the game, Davis described Thunder star Russell Westbrook as “out of his cotton-pickin’ mind.”
In a statement to the Norman Transcript‘s Fred Katz, Thunder vice president of broadcasting Dan Mahoney denounced the remark and said Davis had offered an apology.
“We think obviously the use of that term was offensive and inappropriate, and I expressed that to Brian last night,” Mahoney said. “Brian assures me that it was not meant in any derogatory way, and he apologizes. But again, we feel strongly that it’s inappropriate and offensive.”
Mahoney went on to say it’s “really up to Brian” as to whether Davis addresses the situation when he returns to the broadcast booth Sunday for the Thunder’s playoff game against the Utah Jazz.
The Washington Post‘s Matt Bonesteel noted the adjective “cotton-picking” generally connotes a feeling of either exasperation or astonishment but “has mostly fallen from use, likely because of its surface connections to a time when black slaves picked cotton in the United States.”