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Unedited DMX played during timeout

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks apologized Monday for playing a
hip-hop song that contains obscenities and other graphic language
on "Family Night."

The song, "Party Up" by rapper DMX, was played over the public
address system during a timeout in the second quarter of Saturday's
night game against the Boston Celtics at Philips Arena.

The Hawks said their regular sound person was not at the game,
and the song was chosen by another member of the game operations
staff.

The song was played during a game billed as "Family Night," in
which families receive special discounts. A concert featuring
gospel singer Smokie Norful was held afterward.

"We should be held to a higher standard, and on this occasion,
we dropped the ball," Hawks spokesman Arthur Triche said in a
statement. "This was an unfortunate mistake that will never happen
again."

Triche said the team would address the matter internally with
those responsible.

"Without question, it never should have occurred," Triche
said. "Obscenities and other inappropriate graphic language were
clearly audible to our fans, and as a result of this, we are deeply
sorry.

The Hawks are the second Atlanta team to issue an apology
regarding the choice of stadium entertainment.

In November, the NFL Falcons said a halftime show with rap
groups Bonecrusher, Youngbloodz and Jermaine Dupri was
inappropriate for a family audience.

Bonecrusher, an Atlanta-based artist, sang the hit "Never
Scared," in which he muses about shooting someone in the head.

Groups often cut two versions of songs -- one to go on the album
and one that's appropriate for radio airplay.

It wasn't clear which versions of their songs the groups used at
the Georgia Dome. Some people at the game claimed they heard
profanity, others said they didn't.

The Hawks said the DMX song was the unedited version.

"Obscenities and other inappropriate graphic language were
clearly audible to our fans, and as a result of this, we are deeply
sorry," Triche said. "This was a serious error in judgment."