Iowa announcer suspended after calling player ‘King Kong’

Iowa announcer suspended after calling player ‘King Kong’

February 23, 2019

Iowa basketball’s longtime radio play-by-play announcer, Gary Dolphin, has been suspended after likening a black player to “King Kong.”

Hawkeye Sports Properties, Dolphin’s employer and the company that owns the rights to Iowa broadcasts, said on Friday the suspension would last until the end of the season.

Dolphin said Maryland’s Bruno Fernando “was King Kong at the end of the game” during Iowa’s 66-65 loss to the Terrapins on Tuesday,” Hawk Central reported. Bobby Hansen, the radio analyst, replied, “Yeah, he was. And they had done a really good job, Gary, for the most part rebounding.”

Fernando, a 6-foot-10 forward who scored 11 points and 11 rebounds in 14 minutes on the court, was born in Angola.

Dolphin has called Iowa basketball and football game for the past 22 years. He later apologized in a statement to Hawk Central.

“During the broadcast, I used a comparison when trying to describe a talented Maryland basketball player,” he said. “In no way did I intend to offend or disparage the player.

“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 also suspended for two games earlier this season after he criticized Iowa guard Maishe Daily, the report said, causing a rift with Hawkeyes head coach Fran McCaffery.

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