Wichita State Men’s basketball player Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler isn’t pleased with how his culturally significant name was mocked by CBS Sports broadcasters.
The basketballer is half Native American from the Oglala Lakota tribe and grew up on a reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
CBS Sports broadcasters Chris Walker and Chick Hernandez joked that “Poor-Bear” was “Pooh Bear” during their coverage of Monday’s Wichita state win over Grand Canyon University
When word got back to Poor Bear-Chandler, he responded on Twitter.
“So it’s okay to make fun of my last name?” Poor Bear-Chandler wrote on Twitter. “Just shows your ability to be serious in a professional setting. Just because my people was almost colonized doesn’t mean I don’t know where I come from!”
Wichita State athletics also made a statement on Tuesday addressing 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 got to be kidding me.”
Hernandez responded, “Isaiah ‘Pooh Bear’ Chandler is 50% Native American from the Oglala Lakota tribe, so he chose to use ‘Pooh Bear’ on his jersey,” he said.
“You know what, I love that. Shoutout to Coach Isaac Brown for allowing it to happen,” Walker shot back, before doing a bit where he compared the athlete to Winnie the Pooh.
Walker and Hernandez later made “apologetic efforts,” Wichita State said.
“Isaiah strongly desires for this unfortunate event to serve as a positive learning opportunity in support of the indigenous community,” said the university.