Fresno State received a letter of apology Tuesday from Hawaii’s play-by-play announcer for a comment he made at the end of the TV broadcast of the Fresno State-Hawaii football game.
Robert Kekaula, Hawaii’s play-by-play voice since 2011, concluded the Saturday night broadcast by saying “Good night from the armpit of America.”
The game, which Fresno State won 28-21, was shown on TV via Oceanic Sports in Hawaii and on the Internet via the Mountain West Network.
After hearing from viewers who felt the comment was inappropriate, Fresno State contacted Oceanic, which was aware of the oral jab, said Fresno State associate athletic director Paul Ladwig.
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“He wrote a letter of apology to (Fresno State president) Dr. (Joseph Castro) and the people of the Valley,” Ladwig said. “We felt it was written heartfelt and we’ve accepted his apology and are moving on.”
In his apology, Kekaula said he was making a lighthearted joke with a statistician when he realized the comment had been made on the air. Kekaula said it’s “quite embarrassing really.”
“No excuses. That was wrong of me to say,” Kekaula said. “I’d like to offer my sincerest apologies to all of Bulldog Nation, to Fresno State President Joseph Castro, head football coach Tim DeRuyter and the always hospitable people of Fresno.
“There is no excuse for my action, and no defense I could make for what I uttered. I did mention in our broadcast, and have always felt, that Fresno State is, by a long shot, both the best and toughest place to play football in the Mountain West Conference. The fans at Bulldog Stadium are awesome. ...
“Nonetheless, my actions and my words, no matter the intent, were wrong. I offended some people, and to them … to all really … I’m sorry. Please accept my sincere apology.”
Ladwig said there would be no further repercussion from the incident or any impact regarding future games between Fresno State and Hawaii that air on Oceanic Sports.