Announcer Claims Russell Westbrook Is ‘Out Of His Cotton-Picking Mind’

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, box­es out­side my weight class, when they go low, you go low­er.

During Wednesday night’s game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies, an announc­er took every­one watch­ing back to slave days when he not­ed that the All-Star point guard was “out of his cot­ton-pick­ing mind.”

It was the sea­son finale per­for­mance for Westbrook who prob­a­bly would’ve won anoth­er league MVP had James Harden not played out of his cot­ton-pick­ing mind.

See what I did there?

Sporting News reports that broad­cast­er Brian Davis has been the play-by-play announc­er for the Thunder on Fox Sports Oklahoma. Davis got a lit­tle too excit­ed watch­ing Westbrook’s play dur­ing the 137 – 123 win over the Grizzlies and bizarrely shout­ed out that Westbrook had lost his “cot­ton-pick­ing” mind.

I note that the moment was bizarre because Westbrook hadn’t real­ly done any­thing besides find an open team­mate and throw him the ball. In bas­ket­ball par­lance this is called an assist. It wasn’t even a flashy LeBron chan­nel­ing his best Magic Johnson assist. It was just a toss to an open guy who hit the shot.

Also, and this might be the crux of my annoy­ance with the state­ment — I didn’t men­tion that I was annoyed, well, I am, and not for racial rea­sons — but, who says “cot­ton-pick­ing”? Seriously, that’s like yelling out “Jiminy Cricket” or “Jehoshaphat.”

I’m not duck­ing the fact that the state­ment — which has obvi­ous racial over­tones hear­ken­ing back to slav­ery and the time when blacks were actu­al cot­ton-pick­ers — was not only inap­pro­pri­ate, but also real­ly stu­pid.

The Thunder released a state­ment on Davis’ racial­ly insen­si­tive remarks, call­ing them “offen­sive and inap­pro­pri­ate.”

Thunder Vice President of Broadcasting Dan Mahoney told The Norman Transcript:

We find the term used by Brian Davis on our broad­cast last night to be high­ly inap­pro­pri­ate and offen­sive.

We’ve dis­cussed it with the announc­er and let him know that. He assures us it was not meant in any sort of offen­sive or deroga­to­ry man­ner and he apol­o­gizes.

Nonetheless, he’s been told the use of that term in any man­ner is unac­cept­able.

Well, good goo­gly-moo­gly, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. Wowzers, that was a strong state­ment. I’m sure Davis has learned his les­son, and if he tru­ly is a throw­back racist of some sort then it will only be a mat­ter of time before he drops anoth­er 1960s-style racial­ly inap­pro­pri­ate state­ment. https://​www​.the​root​.com/​a​n​n​o​u​n​c​e​r​-​c​l​a​i​m​s​-​r​u​s​s​e​l​l​-​w​e​s​t​b​r​o​o​k​-​i​s​-​o​u​t​-​o​f​-​h​i​s​-​c​o​t​t​o​n​-​1​8​2​5​2​2​0​861