Mark Martello is a former announcer for Montana State University’s women’s basketball games who was fired after saying during a game that players from opposing Portland State University were like “Antifa after a riot.”
In commenting on the aggressive play of the Portland State women and the lack of fouls being called by the officials, Martello said, “They might go to jail, but they get out right away.” He added that they “can get away with it.”
In describing a Portland State player from a Chicago prep school, Martello compared the city of Portland to the “south side of Chicago.”
Martello was working the game for ESPN and LEARFIELD Bobcat Sports Properties, the broadcast and multimedia rights holder for Montana State.
As the game reached the fourth quarter, Martello commented about the Portland State players’ play and said, “Portland is like Antifa after a riot.” Shortly after that, he apologized on the air, saying he was sorry and that he “shouldn’t say stuff like that.”
Martello later told reporters that LEARFIELD had fired him due to media tweets describing his comments during the game. He added that he took responsibility for what he said and said he would miss the team and the coaches. He explained that “there will be no apology” because no one had been hurt.
He also said that his former employer upheld Portland values in Montana. He said he is “deeply offended” that his tax dollars support “institutions that defend terrorism.” Martello described himself as a simple sportscaster and said the university should “lighten up. It was a joke.”
Martello’s removal from the broadcast team was confirmed in a press release released by the university, but no additional explanation was provided. The Portland State sports information staff, on the other hand, expressed gratitude to Montana State for removing Martello, saying that his statements “had no place in the description of a college basketball game.”
Martello continues as a realtor and CFO of Z’s Meze Market, a Bozeman restaurant he co-founded.