Hawaii men’s volleyball: Lewis apologizes for broadcaster’s comments disparaging “Rainbow Warriors” nickname

Hawaii and Lewis, seen here in the NCAA tournament semifinals at Long Beach State last year, had an interesting subplot happen off the court during Friday's match in Romeoville, Ill. / Star-Advertiser file photo by Darryl Miho

An exciting top-five men’s volleyball matchup between Hawaii and Lewis — eventually won in four sets by the No. 1 Rainbow Warriors — took an interesting turn between the first and second sets on Friday at Romeoville, Ill.

With the Flyers taking a 1-0 set lead — the first set taken from UH all season — the Lewis student broadcasting team, apparently not realizing its microphones were still hot, went on a questionable tangent, led by the play-by-play man.

He said: “I can’t believe they’re called the Rainbow Warriors, to be honest. That’s the worst name I’ve ever heard of any team, in the history of human existence.”

Lewis athletics apologized on Twitter after the match.

UPDATE: The student broadcasters themselves apologized during Lewis’ match on Saturday.

Some fans took to social media to express their displeasure.

UPDATE: The Lewis men’s volleyball team’s Twitter account also offered an olive branch.

The broadcast itself was benign (and even sometimes entertaining) otherwise, with some mispronunciations of “Parapunov” and other Rainbow Warriors.

The tenor of the broadcast was more subdued over the final three sets, but that likely had more to do with UH swinging a mid-match turnaround and taking each of those frames with some clutch performances from Rado Parapunov, Chaz Galloway, Patrick Gasman, Brett Sheward and others.


  1. Aiea 7 January 17, 2020 9:30 pm

    yes, I heard those two announcers making those disparaging comments about calling the team rainbow warriors. it was during a time out but the camera was still running and focused on them. it was really uncouth these two birds saying those things. and sure glad that Hawaii beat the hell out of their team.

  2. Gannwi January 17, 2020 10:14 pm

    It is a rather unusual name! It has lost a ton of momentum since it was revitalized under Ben Jay! June Jones had it right by labeling it Warriors and the Wahine- Rainbow Wahine! With that being the case it should be Rainbow Kane 😂

  3. Harvey January 17, 2020 11:08 pm

    The livestream called into question Lewis’ bonafides as an institution of higher education.

    As an aside, it must be so awesome to live in Romeoville, IL .

  4. H-Man January 17, 2020 11:56 pm

    I watched the broadcast, but muted the audio. It’s normal for me whenever the broadcast announcers aren’t very good. In any case, the “Rainbow Warriors” were entertaining even without the audio.

  5. Tommy Garrity January 18, 2020 4:53 am

    Is that the extent of the disparaging remarks? Why even apologize for that. There are lots of dumb team nicknames, if which Rainbow Warriors definitely is. Great volleyball team though

  6. H-Man January 18, 2020 6:16 am

    Caption of comment from Lewis Athletics…”the radio side that there microphones were still hot.” Guess they also need to boost their grammar skills when they wrote “there” when it should be “their” in the above sentence.

  7. sports for fun January 18, 2020 9:01 am

    I’m wondering what kind of discipline Lewis will be handing out to the two announcers. I think that those two should apologize if they really want to be professional. I’m not saying that the apology will make everything right, but it’s the right thing for those two to do IMHO.

  8. SCL January 18, 2020 9:22 am

    The announcers were sloppy from start to finish. How hard is it to ask a UH representative how to pronounce the players names prior to the match? The hot mic incident revealed the commentator’s intellect and character.

  9. tongo January 18, 2020 9:36 am

    It was just one of the two announcers.

  10. Cindy Luis January 18, 2020 10:49 am

    Thank you Brian for posting in a new story. May have been missed on our VolleyShots.
    I’m sure Lewis will speak to the young aspiring broadcasters. Comments were inappropriate, for sure, and they’ll learn. have heard much much worse from veteran announcers who have also been biased. I think Hawaii is spoiled with many broadcast professionals who are objective.
    Full disclosure: my son is the broadcaster for UH volleyball but as I told Tiff Wells last night that when we listened to him while he was broadcasting matches for Pepperdine when getting his degree, he remained an objective journalist even when he was a student. It is possible. The two Lewis students will learn from this.

  11. Kehaulani January 18, 2020 1:05 pm

    Very unprofessional and embarrassing for Lewis. Is he related to Donald Trump, cause it sure sounds like it.

  12. BK January 18, 2020 1:06 pm

    I was truly getting annoyed at how they were mispronouncing Rado’s last name over and over again. They would say it three different ways in a span of three sentences, with one of them saying it differently three times in a row.

  13. Fsmemea January 18, 2020 1:53 pm

    It is always best to curtail one’s thoughts of a negative nature otherwise when you vocalize it, the sting of your words cannot be retrieved. The commentators have a long way to go in their training before they can be fluent in choice of words. The conversation was not too fluent, but grasping for the appropriate word at times.

  14. UHVoice97 January 18, 2020 7:24 pm

    8. You are right about talking to a UH representative prior to the match.

    Anyone who’s ever attended a UH volleyball match at the Stan Sheriff Center and arrived early might notice that Kanoa Leahey, Chris McLachlin and Tiff Wells go over to the visiting team’s head coach prior to the start of a match and “talk story”. During that time they probably ask for pronunciations of any names they might be unsure of. I’m told the p.a. announcer also goes over to the other team to go over pronunciations of names and hometowns for the opening introductions. This should be standard procedure for any sports announcer.

  15. Jo-Ryan Salazar January 18, 2020 9:44 pm

    These kids aren’t Trump supporters. But they will need to do better if they want to be successful in sports announcing. Also, #VoteBlue.

  16. downtownie January 20, 2020 3:17 pm

    The announcers made a huge mistake, but making amends and learning to be better prepared for a broadcast will help them in their careers. Easy peasy to bash them, but I would like to see these two young men grow up and contribute great things. No doxxing or canceling necessary.

    By the way, vote however you want, because I respect most your right to vote.

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