For those of you who were watching the Cowboys lose or doing other things last night, the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League continued their comeback season with a 13-11 loss to the Georgia Swarm.

In the eyes of many who were at the Wells Fargo Center or follow lacrosse closely, the game was overshadowed by an insensitive remark from the in-arena host, directed towards a Native American Swarm player, which you can hear around the 20 second mark in this video clip:

“Let’s snip the ponytail right here.”

That’s considered insensitive because the “ponytail” or braid is a symbol of Native American heritage.

Lyle Thompson, the target of the comment, brought it up after the game on Twitter:

Many people, myself included, thought the “Wings announcer” Thompson mentioned was PA announcer Marc Farzetta. Farzetta did not say the comment and spent most of his night explaining that on Twitter. The comment was actually said by in-arena host Shawny Hill, who also does content for the Flyers.

Hill, the Wings, and the NLL all released statements:

First off, the fans throwing out the scalping comments is really disgusting. That should never be said anywhere.

Back to Hill’s remark:

It was certainly a dumb thing to say. As someone involved in the lacrosse community and understands the origins of the sport, it’s something that means a lot for Native Americans.

My question is, did Hill even know that? Does Hill know anything about lacrosse other than the Wings and the current team and the franchise that was here before? He could just be a casual fan of the Wings, similar to a casual baseball fan who follows what’s going on along with a little bit of recent history in the sport. At the time, did he think Thompson’s hair was just another unique hairstyle like Elfrid Payton or Dwayne Schintzius in basketball? Possibly.

This is mainly Hill’s fault, and he deserves the backlash he’s getting for what he said. But part of the blame should also go to the Wings organization and even the National Lacrosse League. For lacrosse fans and followers, this might seem ridiculous to think. But for people that don’t follow the sport at all outside of seeing a goal on Sportscenter Top Plays here and there or labeling it as a prep school sport, it makes sense.

There are going to be people that don’t know the general backgrounds of some players because it’s still a niche sport. The Wings get the same amount of mainstream media coverage as the Soul do. The Wings have at least two players that are Native American, Vaughn Harris and Frank Brown.

Harris addressed it on Instagram:

You would think maybe the organization would educate their employees, especially those that are public faces representing the team, on Native American backgrounds and why some have long braids.

Inside the lacrosse community, many people want Hill fired. I don’t see that to be the case, and I don’t think Comcast Spectacor would want to part ways, especially if he does work for the Flyers. Worst case scenario is he’s not the in-arena host anymore.

Overall, there’s a disconnect between people inside the lacrosse community and those outside of it. While Hill might not have known about Native American culture in the sport, the lacrosse community probably doesn’t know that he wasn’t aware of that at the time. The misunderstanding is more on Hill’s end, but could have been prevented if the Wings organization informed Hill of what to expect prior to the game. And now it might help others understand why it was wrong for Hill to say what he said Saturday night.