Two radio employees fired for racist comments during high school basketball game

Two employees fired after racist comments go viral. (Still from video courtesy of Betty Jo Willard)

Two employees at KIOW in northern Iowa have been fired after making racially charged comments during a high school basketball game between Forest City and Eagle Grove.

In a video posted to Facebook Sunday night, the two employees could be heard talking about how many players on Eagle Grove's basketball team were Hispanic.

At one point, one of the employees said "As (President) Trump would say, go back where they came from." He later said about the basketball team, "They're all foreigners."

According to KIMT, our CBS affiliate in Mason City, the man in the broadcast is Orin Harris, a longtime voice of Forest City athletics. Harris was remorse full in an interview.

KIOW released a statement Monday morning, announcing the firing of the two employees. The radio station says while the comments were not made over air, they did appear on an online video feed that appeared on a school website.

Read their full statement below:

On Tuesday, November 28th, two employees of KIOW made comments that were insensitive, thoughtless and degrading to others. These comments were deplorable, and the staff and management of KIOW in no way condones or supports these comments.
These comments never aired on KIOW Radio. They did, however, appear on a video feed that appeared on a school website.
That night when we learned of these comments, we were in contact with the Eagle Grove School District and gathered information about the incident. On Thursday morning, November 30, a letter of apology was sent to school officials, along with details of our actions in regards to the two employees involved.
As a result, both employees have been fired from their positions with the station.
KIOW Radio has a long history of promoting and supporting student athletes, coaches and schools. As a company, we take great pride in spotlighting the great efforts of our local citizens, schools and communities, and we will demand that all company employees adhere to this policy.

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