A Kansas City sports anchor known for his provocative on-air persona has come under fire for allegedly referring to the Kansas basketball team by a derogatory slur.
Jack Harry, sports director of Kansas City's NBC affiliate KSHB, appeared to refer to the Jayhawks as "Gayhawks" during his station's newscast on Sunday night. Harry denied the claim in a YouTube video released Monday night after video of the alleged slur spread via Kansas-themed blogs and social media throughout the day.
"During our 10 p.m. sports report last night, I was having a discussion with Frank Boal," Harry said. "We were talking about the Kansas Jayhawks, and somehow, someway, I don't know what happened, but it got out on social media today that I used a derogatory term in talking about the Kansas Jayhawks.
"Believe me folks, that's not what I'm all about. I've had my go-rounds with Jayhawk fans, but I would never say what I'm accused of. I felt compelled to get that out today."
It would be easier to give Harry the benefit of the doubt were it not for his long history of angering Kansas fans with his thinly veiled dislike for the Jayhawks.
Before the 2011-12 season, Harry projected Kansas to finish fifth in the Big 12, a prediction that was laughable at the time and looked even worse by April when the Jayhawls reached the national title game. Not only did Harry still project Kansas third in the Big 12 even after the Jayhawks destroyed Baylor in January to improve to 15-3 overall, he also said they'd lose in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.
Despite Harry's history, KSHB appears to be standing by its longtime sports director.
In a Facebook post accompanying Harry's explanation, the station said, "While Jack Harry is opinionated, he knows the difference between legitimate sports discussion and unacceptable, uncalled for language. After speaking at length with Jack, we believe Jack when he tells us that is not what he said."