Wichita State men’s basketball player Isaiah Poor Bear Chandler Half-Native American, Oglala Lakota, raised on a reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
His last name is pronounced exactly as it sounds.
During the Shockers Monday 55-43 victory over Grand Canyon University, CBS Sports broadcasters Chris Walker and Chick Hernandez decided to take some liberties and joke around with that pronunciation.
“So you can make fun of my last name?” Poor Bear Chandler wrote on Twitter. “It just shows your ability to be serious in a professional environment. Just because my people were almost colonized doesn’t mean I don’t know where I come from!”
The Wichita State Athletics issued a statement following Poor Bear Chandler’s tweet Tuesday regarding “inappropriate and tactless comments.”
“Who got that rebound on offense? I don’t even want to say it. I’ll let you name him because I want to be sure. Is that Pooh Bear? Come on, you must be joking,” Walker said on air.
Hernandez apparently tried to clarify that Poor Bear Chandler’s name had cultural significance, but mispronounced it.
“Isaiah ‘Pooh Bear’ Chandler is 50% Oglala Lakota Native American, so he decided to use ‘Pooh Bear’ on his jersey,” he said.
“You know what, I like it. Thanks to coach Isaac Brown for letting this happen,” Walker replied. do a little where he compared the athlete with Winnie the Pooh.
The five-year-old big man was a backup center on the 2021 AAC regular season-winning Wichita State team and returned to the Shockers after a year-long stint in Omaha.
A statement from the state of Wichita mentions that Walker and Hernandez have since made “excusable efforts” in person and on air.
According to the statement, “Isaiah very much wants this unfortunate event to serve as a positive learning opportunity in support of the Indigenous community.” He illustrated this by retweeting several educational posts.