(WKBN) – A Valley native is under scrutiny after he is accused of making racist comments in a leaked audio recording.
Sam Mayes lived in Austintown and graduated from Fitch High School in 1999. He then moved on to play football for Oklahoma State University, where he would eventually be recruited into the NFL.
Mayes went on to become a sports broadcaster for Tyler Media’s 107.7 in Oklahoma City. However, he was reportedly fired recently after a 2016 audio recording surfaced with what is said to be Mayes and his colleague Cara Rice making inappropriate comments about Native Americans.
Then, a conversation between the two happened during a commercial break, but the microphones were still on and being recorded.
First, a man believed to be Mayes states, “What’s the excuse for the Natives that they haven’t been fighting to get this thing changed forever?”
Then, a woman believed to be Rice says, “They’ve been too drunk to organize.”
The man then says, “Hashtag Lysol,” and the woman responds by saying, “Hashtag gold spray paint out of the trash.” This is reportedly referencing huffing, the practice of inhaling aerosols to become intoxicated.
They go on to say, “Hashtag we are all gonna lose our jobs one day,” Mayes added. Rice replied, “One day, one of these microphones will be left on.”
WKBN First News reached out to Mayes but has not yet heard back. However, he did tweet this statement addressing the incident.
“I received a call from Tyler Media regarding recording of a private conversation in 2016, that from my understanding was obtained illegally, it was not a hot mic situation,” he says in the statement.
He goes on to say that he asked a question to his co-worker, where he was genuinely curious as to what sparked the Washington NFL team to change their name. He says his co-worker responded with “distasteful, racially charged comments,” that he, “did not dispute, but made light of with the response of ‘Hashtag Lysol,'” he said.
He says, “The remarks that came next by my co-worker made me very uncomfortable and I ended the conversation by stating, ‘That kind of talk would get us fired.'”