Minnesota basketball world defends John Focke after N-word tweet

Focke said he "mistyped," using the N-word instead of "Nuggets."
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John Focke

Minnesota Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve is among the former colleagues of NBA broadcaster John Focke who are speaking highly of him after he was suspended indefinitely for using the N-word in a tweet. 

Focke, who was hired in April 2019 to be the radio play-by-play announcer of the Charlotte Hornets, was suspended by the team Tuesday after he used the racial slur in place of the team he was tweeting about, the Denver Nuggets. 

“Shot making in this Jazz-(N-word) game is awesome! Murray and Mitchell going back and forth what a game!” read Focke's tweet. 

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Focke apologized, calling it a "horrific error." He said he "mistyped" and had "no intention of ever using that word." 

Reeve, who worked with Focke when he was the radio broadcaster for the Lynx during multiple championship seasons dating back to 2012, offered support to Focke in a lengthy statement published on Twitter. 

"I know John to be one of the kindest, gentlest, good-hearted individuals I've ever worked with," Reeve wrote. "Not only do I know unequivocally that John Focke is not a racist and does not use racist language, I KNOW that his heart is one that is filled with love for EVERYONE." 

Wolves assistant coach and former All-Star forward Rebekkah Brunson echoed her respect for Focke. 

"Ugh. My heart is heavy for @JWFOCKE. You are one of the best people I know. We all make mistakes," Brunson tweeted. "Looking at this keyboard I see how easy the mistake can be made. I know your person and your heart. I can’t wait to hear that voice on air again!!!"

Jon Krawczynski, who covers the Timberwolves for The Athletic, called Focke "one of the kindest, most trustworthy souls I've come across in the NBA/WNBA," adding that Focke's "record speaks for itself." 

Darren Wolfson, longtime Minnesota sports reporter who works for KSTP-TV, wrote: "I have full trust and belief in his [Focke] statement."

The Charlotte Hornets say Focke is suspended indefinitely while the incident is investigated "more closely." 

Focke worked with the Minnesota Timberwolves Radio Network from 2007 to 2019, while previously working as a part-time producer for the Minnesota Wild and doing high school sports play-by-play at radio stations in Albert Lea, Minnesota. 

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