A Cleburne sports broadcaster called Arlington Seguin football players “Cougroes” and made fun of a Seguin cheerleader’s weight during the radio broadcast of Seguin’s game against Cleburne last week, according to audio obtained by the Star-Telegram.
Mark Banton of JacketRadio.com acknowledged that he was one of the broadcasters at the Cleburne-Seguin game and would neither confirm nor deny making the comments.
“I am aware of the accusations and I have nothing to say about it,” Banton told the Star-Telegram on Thursday.
Arlington school district officials said Thursday that JacketRadio.com will not be allowed to broadcast games involving their schools. They also reported the broadcaster’s behavior to the University Interscholastic League, the governing body of high school athletics in Texas.
The broadcaster made racially charged comments throughout the game, sometimes singling out players, said Arlington school district spokeswoman Leslie Johnston. Cleburne school district officials said they are investigating the matter.
“Cleburne ISD does not condone unethical, unprofessional or unacceptable comments,” said Lisa Magers, a school district spokeswoman. “When our school district was notified by Arlington ISD officials of the situation, we immediately began addressing the concern.”
Cleburne and Seguin are in District 9-5A, which also includes schools from Burleson, Crowley, Everman and Granbury. Cleburne plays at Burleson on Friday.
Seguin beat Cleburne in the game 30-16.
‘I have nothing to say’
When asked if he would continue broadcasting Cleburne football games, Banton said: “I guess you’ll have to tune in to find out.”
Magers said she is not aware of any plans to cancel the broadcast of Friday’s game against rival Burleson.
When asked if he called the Seguin players “Cougroes” — apparently a combination of Seguin’s mascot, the Cougar, with negroes — Banton said: “I have nothing to say about it.”
Arlington Seguin’s student body is 37.5 percent African-American and 14 percent white. Cleburne High is 49 percent white and 3.4 percent African-American.
On the audio, Banton also singled out a Seguin cheerleader, apparently making a joke about the girl’s weight.
“Can we talk about that Seguin cheerleader ...? What do you think [inaudible] should do with that? ... Jenny Craig has a lot to do — a lot of work to do with her.”
When asked if he made the comment about the cheerleader, Banton said: “I have nothing to say about it.”
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