Two CBS Sports Network broadcasters have apologized for mocking a player's Native American name during a Wichita State basketball game against Grand Canyon University. Chris Walker and Chick Hernandez repeatedly referred to Wichita forward Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler as "Pooh Bear," Deadline reports. "Who got that offensive rebound? I don’t even want to say it," Walker said. "I'll let you say his name because I want to be sure. Is it 'Pooh Bear?' Come on, you got to be kidding me." Hernandez called it "one of the better names in college basketball." "Shoutout to coach Isaac Brown for allowing him to have that on his jersey," Walker said later in the broadcast. "I love it." Hernandez, laughing, added, "You know opponents are calling him 'Winnie' at some point."
Poor Bear-Chandler, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe, is half-Native American and grew up on a reservation in South Dakota, according to his Wichita State Shockers bio. "So it’s okay to make fun of my last name? Just shows your ability to be serious in a professional setting," he tweeted after the Monday game. "Just because my people was almost colonized doesn’t mean I don’t know where I come from!" Hernandez and Walker met with Poor Bear-Chandler before the Shockers' Tuesday Hall of Fame Classic championship game against San Francisco, the Wichita Eagle reports. They also apologized on-air for their "comments and lack of sensitivity surrounding Isaiah’s name."
We "met with Isaiah this morning to apologize in person and express our deep regret," Hernandez said. "We appreciate Isaiah taking the time to educate us on the significance of his name and his heritage. We will continue to learn from this and be better moving forward." KCTV5 reports that Wichita State issued a statement saying it appreciated the effort to apologize for the "inappropriate and insensitive" remarks. "To his credit, Isaiah facilitated an educational and enlightening discussion engaging numerous individuals, including CBS Sports Network’s on-air talent," the statement said. "Isaiah strongly desires for this unfortunate circumstance to serve as a positive learning opportunity in support of the Indigenous community." (Read more Native Americans stories.)