Philadelphia Wings announcer Shawny Hill has apologized after making racist remarks about Georgia Swarm forward Lyle Thompson during Saturday night’s game at the Wells Fargo Center.
Thompson tweeted Saturday that the lacrosse announcer, over the public address system, said, “Let’s snip the pony tail.”
Thompson, who is of Native American descent and from the Onondaga Reservation in Central New York, said fans began to yell at him, “Saying they’re going to scalp me,” Thompson also tweeted.
Thompson added on Twitter that he hadn’t heard those types of derogatory comments since he was in high school.
Brendan Bomberry, Thompson’s teammate with the Swarm, said the atmosphere of the game was “overshadowed” by the comments.
“’Let’s snip the braid’ was disgusting and a reality for my ancestors,” Bomberry, who is from the Six Nations reservation in Canada, tweeted.
The National Lacrosse League issued a statement, saying “member clubs have a zero tolerance policy for any derogatory or discriminatory statements made.” The league office also said Hill’s comments were “inappropriate, and the necessary disciplinary action will be taken swiftly.”
Hill also issued an apology on social media.
“My words were poorly chosen and were not intended as racially motivated,” he said. “My words do not reflect my personal beliefs, but represent a lack of knowledge on heritage and history.”
Hill also said he hopes to directly apologize to Thompson and his brother, Miles, who also plays for the Swarm.
The Wings haven’t responded to a request for comment from the Inquirer about what disciplinary measures they plan to take.