An­nouncer apol­o­gizes for re­mark; team, league vow dis­ci­pline

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS -

An an­nouncer has apol­o­gized for a re­mark about a Na­tive Amer­i­can player dur­ing a lacrosse game that he and the team called “in­sen­si­tive,” with both team and league vow­ing dis­ci­plinary ac­tion. Ge­or­gia Swarm for­ward and Ch­e­sa­peake Bay­hawk Lyle Thomp­son said on so­cial me­dia that Philadel­phia Wingspub­lic ad­dress an­nouncer ShawnyHill­said, “Let’s snip the pony­tail” dur­ing Satur­day night’s game at the Wells Fargo Cen­ter, The Philadel­phia In­quirer re­ported. Thomp­son, who is from the Onondaga Reser­va­tion in Cen­tral New York, said fans be­gan to shout “scalp” him. “I know Philly takes pride in their ruth­less fans but I didn’t know it was like that lol. now I know,” he said, adding that he hadn’t heard “stuff like this” since high school. Hill apol­o­gized on so­cial me­dia for “in­sen­si­tive” words he called “poorly cho­sen” and “not in­tended as racially mo­ti­vated.” “My­words do not re­flect my per­sonal be­liefs, but rep­re­sent a lack of knowl­edge on her­itage and his­tory,” he said, adding that he was reach­ing out to speak to Thomp­son and his brother, Miles, also on the team, “in hopes of pro­vid­ing a di­rect apol­ogy.” The Na­tional Lacrosse League said in a state­ment that it and mem­ber clubs have a “zero tol­er­ance pol­icy for any deroga­tory or dis­crim­i­na­tory state­ments.” The league said “nec­es­sary dis­ci­plinary ac­tion will be taken swiftly.” The Philadel­phia Wings said in a state­ment it was “deeply apolo­getic” for what it called “this in­ad­ver­tent yet of­fen­sive oc­cur­rence” and vowed “swift dis­ci­plinary and ed­u­ca­tional mea­sures” to pre­vent sim­i­lar episodes. Thomp­son­was­s­e­lect­ed­first over­all in the 2015 Ma­jor League Lacrosse draft by the Flor­ida Launch and was traded to the Bayhawks in 2017. He played in four games for the Bayhawks in 2018 after re­turn­ing from an in­jury, scor­ing 11 goals. his ca­reer by de­feat­ing Mikhail Kukushkin of Kaza­khstan, 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-2, at the 2017 Aus­tralian Open. He fell in the open­ing round last year in Mel­bourne. Ti­afoe, an alum­nus of the Ju­nior Ten­nis Cham­pi­ons Cen­ter in Col­lege Park, is com­ing off a 2018 sea­son in which he se­cured his first ATP Tour ti­tle with a vic­tory at the Del­ray Beach (Fla.) Open, be­com­ing the youngest Amer­i­can to win a ti­tle since Andy Rod­dick won at age 19 in 2002 in Hous­ton. De­nis Kudla, a fel­low JTCC alum from Ukraine, faces Aus­tralia’s Marc Pol­mans in the first round. ESPN and Ten­nis Chan­nel will have full tele­vi­sion cov­er­age of the tour­na­ment.

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