Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler is a forward for the Wichita State Shockers Men’s basketball team. And if you haven’t noticed, he also has one of the most unique names in all of college sports. Poor Bear-Chandler made it clear earlier this week that he doesn’t appreciate anyone clowning on that uniqueness.
More specifically, he’s not down with CBS announcers having a laugh over his name.
In the midst of Wichita State’s Monday win over Grand Canyon University, a pair of CBS announcers repeatedly laughed at the player’s expense, going as far as to refer to him as “Pooh Bear.” One broadcaster even questioned whether his pregame notes were correct when he saw the Shockers’ forward’s name.
“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,” CBS announcer Chris Walker said to his broadcast partner Chick Hernandez during the game.
Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler Is A Fifth-Year Senior
According to Wichita State’s website, Poor Bear-Chandler is 50% Native American from the Oglala Lakota tribe. Within his family there’s a cultural significance to his name.
This possibility apparently never crossed the minds of CBS’ announcers who continued to rag on the hooper’s name with ‘Winnie the Pooh’ digs.
“He’s got Pooh Bear on the back of his jersey,” Walker added, incorrectly. “I love that.”
Hernandez followed: “It is one of the better names in college basketball.”
“No, that is the best name in college basketball,” insisted Walker “Pooh Bear? You’ve got to be kidding. I was like, ‘OK, let me look in my notes. Maybe I said something wrong here.’”
The Pooh jokes continued from there with the announcers rarely haulting their laughs to take a breath.
Following the game, Isaiah Poor-Bear Chandler was made aware of the announcers’ comments and fired back in a tweet. “So it’s okay to make fun of my last name?” Poor Bear-Chandler said via 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!”
CBS Announcers Responded
After realizing how offensive their comments were to Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler, his family and other Native Americans, Walker and Hernandez met with Poor Bear-Chandler in person Tuesday to clear the air. When Poor Bear-Chandler checked into Wichita State’s Tuesday game versus San Francisco, the announcers publicly apologized.
“Chris and I would like to take this time to publicly apologize to Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler, his family, the Native American community, NABC, the Hall of Fame Classic for our comments and lack of sensitivity surrounding Isaiah’s name during yesterday’s game,” Hernandez stated during the game’s first half.
Hernandez continued: “We asked for and met with Isaiah this morning to apologize in person and express our deep regret. We appreciate Isaiah taking the time to educate us on the significance of his name and his heritage. We will continue to learn from this and be better moving forward.”
On Tuesday evening Wichita State released a statement via Twitter acknowledging their appreciation for the CBS announcers’ apology. The school’s statement also credited Isaiah for his willingness to speak with the announcers prior to the Shockers’ game, stating in part:” Isaiah strongly desires for this unfortunate circumstance to serve as a positive learning opportunity in support of the Indigenous community.”
In three appearances this season, Poor Bear-Chandler is averaging just under three points per game. He and the Shockers return to the hardwood Saturday when Wichita State plays host to Tarleton State.
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