Montana state broadcaster fired for comparing Portland state female basketball players to ‘Antifa after riot’
Montana State University play-by-play announcer Mark Martello was fired after he compared Portland to Chicago’s South Side and described Portland State University’s female basketball players as ‘post-riot antifa’ during of a match broadcast on January 22.
The shooting was first reported by the reporter Joe Terry.
While telling listeners about Portland State center Rheme Ogele’s performance in the fourth quarter of the game, Martello made a disparaging note about his background at Saint Ignatius College Prep, located in Chicago.
“Portland isn’t much different, I don’t think, these days,” Martello said, before confirming later on the show that his comments were referring to the increase in gun violence in Portland and comparing it to the south side of Chicago. (Note: Saint Ignatius College Prep is not on the South Side of Chicago, despite Martello’s statement in the video below.)
That same quarter, Martello made another disturbing comment after a Montana State player was fouled.
“Portland can get away with anything they want to get away with,” Martello said. “Portland is like Antifa after a riot. They can go to jail but they get out right away.
Montana State University fired Martello on Monday.
In a statement, the school said: “This decision was made by MSU Athletics’ longtime media rights holder, Bobcat Sports Properties of Learfield. For the remainder of the 2022 season, play-by-play responsibilities for women’s basketball will be handled by Tom Schulz, Montana State Director of Sports Communications for Women’s Basketball.
A Portland State representative told Willamette Week that Martello “made an irrelevant and out-of-context comment that was completely disrespectful to the athletes of both teams.”
Martello did not apologize for his on-air comments and declined to do so.
“There will be no apologies, no one was hurt,” he wrote in a text message to 406mtsports.com.
“Stupid thing to say maybe, but firing me represents MONTANA values?” He continued. “I don’t think so. MSU promotes the values of Portland, Montana. Kneeling is fine, political warm-ups are fine, but some yahoo radio doing wise cracks is a capital offense. Whatever I said was true. I guess the truth hurts.