01:22 GMT +324 March 2019
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    Nøtterøy Håndball

    Black Humor: Norwegians Inflamed by Accidentally Aired 'Racist' Joke

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    During a local handball match, the commentator forgot that the microphone was on and cracked an insider "Negro joke" with his dark-skinned colleague. Remarkably, it was not the coworker who protested, but fellow ethnic Norwegians.

    The faux pas happened during a First league match between Nøtterøy and Vålerenga, broadcast by the newspaper Tønsbergs Blad.

    The commentator erroneously thought that the microphone was off and shared a few jokes with his dark-skinned mate.

    "It's nice that there are no Negros on the pitch here. Very nice. Maybe even you as a Negro can say is very nice," the man said, as quoted by national broadcaster NRK.

    "Damn, if it's right, we're f****d. I'm getting fired," the commentator reacted after discovering the mistake. Nevertheless, it was odds expert at Aller Media Tor Henrik Stensland who saw red and released the clip on Twitter, only to delete it shortly afterwards.

    "This does not belong anywhere, even though it was said in an internal context between those sitting there. It simply does not belong in 2018," Stensland said, explaining his standpoint.

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    In the comments field, the joke was called "bummer" and "not in."

    "I totally agree. I admit my fault and regret it very much. I had been talking to a fried, the side commentator, during the last minutes of the match and didn't notice the sound was on. He is dark-skinned and unfortunately this is the kind of humor we have. Regrettably, it went out and this is deplorable," the commentator told NRK, lamenting this "unprofessional mistake."

    The both clubs involved, Vålerenga and Nøtterøy, denounced the "racist" comments and distanced themselves from the incident.

    Hein Barthold, the general manager of the Norwegian Handball Association, said such comments were not acceptable.

    "This clip went on air while waiting for the audio issues with the broadcast to be fixed. Regardless, this is not acceptable at all. We strongly disagree with such comments," Barthold said.

    Nevertheless, Barthold defended the commentator as a "nice guy" and said that he wouldn't be suspended from his job.

    "Assuming that it does not happen again, he will be allowed to clean up. We will not deny him the opportunity to comment, but it is up to Nøtterøy TV," he explained.

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    By contrast, Sigmund Kydland, the editor-in-charge of Tønsberg Blad, the newspaper that aired the match, was highly critical of the situation.

    "It's very regrettable that this happened, and we terminated our cooperation with the commentator immediately," Kydland told the daily newspaper Nettavisen.

    Following the incident, the commentator admittedly received many negative reactions, but also statements of support.


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