North Carolina State play-by-play broadcaster Gary Hahn has been reinstated following his suspension on December 30. During NC State’s Mayo Bowl appearance against the Duke Blue Devils, Hahn made a comment referencing the high amount of “illegal aliens” that he says are present in El Paso, Texas.
Promptly afterward, Hahn was suspended by his network, Wolfpack Sports Properties. Below is a transcript of the phrase that got Hahn in the doghouse, accompanied by an audio recording:
“Amongst all the illegal aliens down in El Paso, it’s UCLA 14, Pittsburgh 6. That’s with 11:15 to go in the second quarter.”
Here's what got NCSU announcer Gary Hahn immediately and indefinitely suspended after today's broadcast: pic.twitter.com/4qkyQ1jzT2
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) December 30, 2022
The suspension announcement came directly following the game, as NC State’s Associate Athletics Director said Hahn would be taking some time away from the microphone:
“LEARFIELD has suspended Wolfpack Sports Network Play-by-Play announcer Gary Hahn indefinitely following comments made during today’s Duke Mayo Bowl radio broadcast.”
However, that suspension would only last one week, and Hahn is returning to the booth. It is unclear why the suspension was so short-lived, but it may very well play in Hahn’s favor that what he said was not entirely wrong. The illegal immigration problem has become so severe that Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been forced to utilize the Texas National Guard to defend his state’s share of the southern border. Abbott announced new layers of defense at the border as recently as Sunday when new concertina wire was installed to aid the Texas National Guard’s efforts. Here is what Abbott had to say about the new installation:
“Texas National Guard are installing additional layers of razor wire in high-traffic areas for illegal crossings at the Texas-Mexico border. They’re working around the clock to secure the border in the federal government’s absence.”
On December 29, 2022, the Texas government’s website shared a press release about “Operation Lone Star, Abbott’s initiative to secure the border and protect Texans, saying:
Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and the Texas National Guard are continuing to take historic action in 2022 under Operation Lone Star to secure the border and stop cartels and criminals from smuggling deadly drugs, weapons, and people into Texas.
Since the launch of Operation Lone Star, the multi-agency effort has led to over 336,000 migrant apprehensions and more than 23,000 criminal arrests, with more than 20,000 felony charges reported. In the fight against fentanyl, DPS has seized over 354 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.”
Donald Trump echoed the same sentiment, that America must bolster its border security, during his announcement of the Trump 2024 presidential campaign:
“Our southern border has been erased and our country is being invaded by millions and millions of unknown people, many of whom are entering for a very bad and sinister reason. And you know what that reason is.”
While play-by-play announcer Gary Hahn might have stepped out of line in the eyes of his network, he also was not wrong about an issue that plagues the state of Texas, and the other states that border Mexico. And it seems the his network was quick to appreciate that fact.
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