**********The Charlotte Hornets announced on Thursday that they have fired radio announcer John Focke for a violation of the team’s social media policy.**********
Focke tweeted in August about a playoff game between the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz. Instead of the word “Nuggets” in the phrase below, Focke wrote the n-word in a since-deleted tweet.
The Hornets announced Thursday’s news in a statement.
“The Charlotte Hornets announced today that John Focke will not return as the team’s radio broadcaster due to a violation of the organization’s social media policy,” the statement reads. “Since this is a personnel matter, the organization will not comment any further”.
“The Hornets thank John for all of his efforts during the 2019-20 season.”
Focke claimed he ‘mistyped’ the word
The Hornets initially suspended Focke on Aug. 18 while the team investigated the incident. Focke apologized for the tweet that was sent a day earlier and claimed to have “mistyped” the slur.
“Earlier today I made a horrific error while attempting to tweet about the Denver-Utah game,” Focke wrote. “I don’t know how I mistyped, I had (and have) no intention of ever using that word. I take full responsibility for my actions. I have been sick to my stomach about it ever since. I’m truly sorry that this happened and I apologize to those I offended”.
The apology arrived nearly six hours after Focke sent out the tweet. Many pointed out that autocorrect programs on phones don’t automatically change “Nuggets” to the n-word, suggesting that Focke would have needed to use the word intentionally in the past for his phone to learn it.
Focke denied that it was an autocorrect error
Focke told the Charlotte Observer’s Scott Fowler that he had never typed the n-word on his phone before and denied that it was an autocorrect error.
“I was trying to get it done as fast as I could so that it was relevant by the time I posted it,” Focke told Fowler. “I tried to type it and obviously I mistyped the word ‘Nuggets.’ And I did not reread it — which, as you know, that’s rule No. 1 of working in the media”.