On Friday, radio broadcaster Gary Hahn in North Carolina was suspended for using the term “illegal aliens” while providing an update on the Sun Bowl being played in El Paso.
This choice of language has caused controversy and resulted in Hahn’s suspension.
Hahn’s Suspension Brings Attention to Undocumented Immigrants in El Paso
Gary Hahn was providing commentary for the North Carolina Wolfpack’s game against the Maryland Terrapins.
While sharing developments on the score, Hahn made a joke about the Sun Bowl being played in El Paso, saying UCLA was leading Pittsburgh 14 to 6 against the “illegal aliens” in the city. This statement caused controversy and resulted in Hahn’s suspension.
#BREAKING: Sports play-by-play announcer Gary Hahn has been suspended indefinitely after providing an update on the Sun Bowl in El Paso stating:
“Amongst the illegal aliens in El Paso…”
Audio clip below. pic.twitter.com/G1Th5OY8Gm
— Katie Daviscourt🇺🇸 (@KatieDaviscourt) December 30, 2022
However, it is a fact that El Paso has a significant population of undocumented immigrants. The city has seen an influx of people seeking asylum, causing overcrowding in shelters and forcing some individuals to sleep on the streets.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has been criticized for its handling of the situation, with some accusing it of creating a “tent city” in El Paso.
Debate on Language, Politics, and Freedom of Speech
Hahn’s suspension has raised questions about the appropriateness of his language and the role of politics in sports.
Some have pointed out the term “illegal alien,” which Hahn used, has been used by the Founding Fathers. Others questioned why it is considered a problem to bring politics into sports, especially in light of past incidents where players and teams have made political statements on the field.
NC State radio broadcaster Gary Hahn was suspended making a factual observation about the crisis of illegal immigration ravaging the United States of America.
This is a disgrace and Gary must be immediately reinstated. FREE GARY HAHN! pic.twitter.com/aWVgAfOR7f
— Nick Adams (Alpha Male) (@NickAdamsinUSA) January 2, 2023
The people of El Paso have experienced significant strain due to the influx of asylum seekers in recent months. Mayor Oscar Leeser, a Democrat, declared a state of emergency earlier this month and has since extended it.
The Sun Bowl fan fest was also canceled last week, due to the use of the convention center as a temporary shelter for approximately 1,000 undocumented immigrants. The harsh winter weather exacerbated the situation, leading to the conversion of the convention center into a shelter.
Gary Hahn, a long-time employee of Learfield Communications and the voice of North Carolina State football and men’s basketball since 1991, has been suspended.
Hahn, who has won multiple awards including North Carolina Sportscaster of the Year in 2011 and 2020, is a highly respected broadcaster.
Learfield Communications released a statement announcing the indefinite suspension of Gary Hahn, the play-by-play announcer for the Wolfpack Sports Network.
Despite the suspension, many hope to see Hahn return to the microphone for the men’s basketball season.
Some have argued that Hahn’s comments, while possibly in poor taste, were based on truth and struck a nerve in a society where the Biden administration is normalizing open borders and the related crises.
However, the administration has consistently maintained the border is secure and denies any openness.