Maine sports commentators fired for remarks about girl basketball players

HOULTON, Maine — Two longtime sports radio broadcasters in northern Maine have been fired after making disparaging remarks about two female high school basketball players.

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Steve Shaw and Jim Carter were broadcasting a girls basketball game in Aroostook County for radio station WHOU on Thursday night when they were caught on a hot microphone calling two of the players “extremely overweight” and “awful,” WGME-TV reported.

Their remarks were picked up during the broadcast of a junior varsity game between Caribou High School and Fort Kent Community High School, WCSH-TV reported. The men were preparing to call the varsity game between the two schools, but their comments were about a monitor they were watching, which showed a high school game between Easton and Central Aroostook, the television station reported.

Warning: Audio contains offensive language.

The monitor was not visible on the WHOU livestream, according to WCSH.

“Extremely overweight. Awful,” Carter said of two girls during the broadcast, according to the television station.

Shaw then commented on finding “uniforms that fit the girls.”

Seconds later, Carter identified a girl by her uniform number and said, “Wow ... would you look at her.”

Easton Superintendent Mark Stanley said he heard about the broadcasters’ comments shortly after they were made, WGME reported.

“We’re a small school up here, we know all our kids really well, we’re lucky in that regard, and so we know every single player that was on that team being talked about,” Stanley told the television station Friday. “I think anger is probably the reaction everybody had when they saw and heard what happened.”

WHOU owner Fred Grant wrote in a statement posted to the station’s website that “two broadcasters made comments that were not only inappropriate, they were also blatantly wrong.”

“All of our students deserve our respect. Our students are living through the most challenging times in our history,” Grant stated, adding that both announcers had been fired. “Not only are they struggling through a pandemic, they also have the challenges of living in an age of social media which many of us would say that’s even worse than the pandemic.

“I apologize that the broadcasters failed to see this fundamental belief and I apologize for their behavior. I know they are remorseful, and I believe they, too, will continue to learn from their mistakes.”

Carter and Shaw have broadcast high school basketball games in Aroostook County for decades at various radio stations, according to the Bangor Daily News. Carter is a member of the Presque Isle Hall of Fame and Maine Sports Legends. Shaw is a retired athletic director for Easton High School and is a former standout coach at both Easton and Central Aroostook, the newspaper reported.

Shaw was inducted into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the “Legends of the Game” in 2021, according to the Daily News.

Neither announcer has publicly commented about their remarks.

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