Mark Martello lost his college sports announcing job when he compared Portland State University players to Antifa during a women’s basketball game last weekend.
While calling the plays for the Montana State University (MSU) basketball game, Martello took his first shot against the city of Portland, which had been ravaged by Antifa protests throughout 2020, in a comment aimed at the team’s center, Rhema Ogele.
“Ogele, from Saint Ignatius College [Prep] in Chicago, which is South Side. You’ve heard of [it],” he cracked. “Portland not much different, I don’t think, these days.”
“I’ve been to the South Side, a lot. Portland looked worse when we were there last year,” Martello followed up in a text message, comparing the city’s crime rate to the South Side of Chicago’s violent murder epidemic.
A few minutes later, he noted that an MSU player “got fouled two or three times” during a play, but Portland wasn’t given a penalty.
“Evidently, [MSU] Cats are up 19, Portland can get away with whatever they’re going to get away with,” Martello said. “Portland’s like antifa after a riot. They might go to jail, but they get out right away. They can get away with it.”
He seemed to realize his error a few seconds later and remarked, “Uh oh, I shouldn’t say stuff like that. I’m sorry.”
Martello’s instincts were correct, as he was dismissed by the sports radio production company that represents MSU, after a journalist tweeted out his remarks and the vice president of the company saw the social media posts.
After a no call on the MSU end, the Cats pxp guy takes an interesting tact on the call:
"Portland can get away with whatever they want to get away with. Portland's like Antifa after a riot. They might go to jail but they get out right away."
— Joe Terry (@joseph_terry) January 22, 2022
Martello refused to apologize for the commentary after his firing. “I am taking responsibility for what came out of my mouth,” Martello said. “I will miss the team and coaches. There will be no apology, no one was harmed.”
“This is part of the world we live in, a big reason why I hate Social Media,” he continued. “Dumb thing to say maybe, but firing me represents MONTANA values? I think not. MSU promotes Portland values, in Montana. Kneeling is fine, political warm-ups are no problem, but some radio yahoo making wise cracks is a capital offense. Everything I said was true. I guess the truth hurts.”