WFAN, MSNBC host calls Black student athletes 'nappy-headed ho's' during show
WASHINGTON - America and the National Association of Black Journalists are outraged and disgusted by the crude and insulting comments leveled by WFAN radio personality Don Imus against the student athletes of Rutgers University's women's basketball team. Imus called the team "nappy-headed ho's" during a radio interview, simulcast on MSNBC.
"Has he lost his mind?" asked NABJ President Bryan Monroe, vice president and editorial director for Ebony and Jet magazines in Chicago. "Those comments were beyond offensive. Imus needs to be fired. Today."
Imus and his producer, Bernard McGuirk, went on to further attack the black members of the team, calling them "jigaboos and wannabees."
"As NABJ strives to dispel stereotypes and promote accurate portrayals of minorities in the media, we find this characterization of these young black women offensive and hateful," said Barbara Ciara, NABJ vice president/broadcast and managing editor at WTKR in Norfolk. Ciara said Imus has an obligation as a broadcaster to "speak with a responsible voice."
Sports journalists around the country were equally dismayed.
"The disrespectful comments by Don Imus were degrading to women," said Gregory Lee, chairman of the NABJ Sports Task Force and senior assistant sports editor at the Boston Globe. Lee said task force members question MSNBC's leadership in aligning itself with someone who feels free to denigrate black women and student-athletes.