Jack Harry is under fire, but he's not out of a job.
The Kansas City-based KSHB 41 Action News anchor was hosting the station's weekly sports show last Sunday night when the topic turned to the struggling Kansas Jayhawks basketball team, who had lost three out of four.
Speaking to a colleague, it seems pretty clear Harry referred to the squad as the "gayhawks," causing an uproar on social media:
Despite seemingly clear video evidence, KSHB News Director Carrie Hofmann is standing by Harry and claiming he didn't actually utter this pejorative term.
“We believe he said Jayhawks,” said Hofmann in a statement. "It’s open to interpretation. I think there are people who hear Jayhawk, I think there are people who hear ‘Gayhawk’ and I think there are people who hear variations of those. I stand behind Jack. I believe Jack. I understand what people think and I certainly am sorry if people are interpreting it any other way.”
Hoffman says she spoke to Harry, who denied he used the homophobic insult and who is "flabbergasted" by the controversy.
Harry has been with the NBC affiliated since 2002 and faced no disciplinary action from this incident.
And that doesn't sit well with critics.
“He’s always been unprofessional,” said Jason King, a former Kansas City Star and ESPN sports reporter who now works at Bleacher Report. “He just tries to get a rise out of people.”
Watch the video for yourself and decide: What, exactly, did Harry say?