Wichita State men’s basketball player Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler he is not pleased with the way CBS Broadcasters mocked his culturally significant name.
The basketball player is half Native American from the Oglala Lakota tribe and grew up on a reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
CBS Sports announcers Chris Walker and Chick Hernandez joked that “Poor-Bear” was “Pooh Bear” during their coverage of Wichita State’s Monday win over Grand Canyon University.
When the news reached Poor Bear-Chandler, he responded on Twitter.
“So it’s okay to make fun of my last name?” Poor Bear-Chandler wrote on Twitter. “It just shows your ability to be serious in a professional environment. Just because my people were almost colonized doesn’t mean I don’t know where I came from!
Wichita State athletics also issued a statement Tuesday regarding the “inappropriate and insensitive comments.”
During the game, Walker said, “Who got that offensive rebound? I don’t even want to say it. I’ll let you say his name because I want to be sure. Is it ‘Pooh Bear?’ Come on, you’ve got to be kidding.
Hernandez responded, “Isaiah ‘Pooh Bear’ Chandler is 50% Native American from the Oglala Lakota tribe, which is why he chose to wear ‘Pooh Bear’ on his jersey,” he said.
“You know what, I love that. Thanks to Coach Isaac Brown for letting it happen,” Walker replied, before doing a little where he compared the athlete to Winnie the Pooh.
Walker and Hernandez then made “apologizing efforts,” Wichita State said.
“Isaiah strongly wishes this unfortunate event to serve as a positive learning opportunity in support of the indigenous community,” the university said.