Harrison apologizes, says he was ‘joking’
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison apologized Sunday for directing an obscenity and a racial slur at Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky during a postgame news conference at the Final Four.
Harrison muttered “F— that n—-” into a live microphone when another player was asked a question about Kaminsky after Kentucky lost 71-64 to the Badgers Saturday. The loss ruined the Wildcats’ undefeated season; they finished 38-1.
Harrison’s comment came as a reporter asked Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns about defending the 7-foot Kaminsky. He muttered it with his hand in front of his mouth, but the mic picked up the comments.
Social media immediately lit up with tweets about what Harrison said along with video clips, and the program looked into the matter.
Harrison, who is black, didn’t explain why he made the comments about Kaminsky, who is white. But he said in a series of tweets his comments were a “poor choice of words used in jest towards a player I respect and know.”
“When I realized how this could be perceived I immediately called big frank to apologize and let him know I didn’t mean any disrespect,” he added.
He said the two of them had a “good conversation” and he wished him good luck in Monday’s championship game.
Kaminsky confirmed Sunday that Harrison reached out to him, and then the All-America forward quickly dismissed the topic.
“Nothing needs to be made out of it,” Kaminsky said.
Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes said it is not uncommon to hear players saying similar things during games.
“There’s a lot of that (trash talk) that’s said on the court,” Hayes said. “There’s a lot of guys if they lose to a player would probably have said the same type things.”
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said the incident should be a lesson.
“In this day and age — it reminds all of us — whatever we say can and will be heard it seems,” he said.
Harrison had 13 points and four assists in the loss. Harrison and his twin brother, Aaron, have been projected as NBA draft picks but didn’t discuss their futures after the loss.