The Rutgers University women’s-basketball team agreed Tuesday to meet with embattled Imus in the Morning host Don Imus, who will go on a two-week suspension beginning Monday for uttering a racial comment about the team.
Captain Essence Carson, a Rutgers junior, said the team will hold a private meeting with Imus at an undisclosed location. While the team agreed to meet Imus, who requested the meeting, Carson said the team is angry at Imus, who called the players “nappy-headed hos” last Wednesday during his morning show.
“Not only has Mr. Imus stolen a moment of pure gracefulness, but he has brought us to the harsh reality that behind the faces of the networks that have worked so hard to convey a message of empowerment to young adults that somehow some way the door has been left open to attack your leaders of tomorrow,” Carson said at a press conference held at Rutgers Tuesday.
Imus’ comments continued to dominate newspaper and television coverage Tuesday, one day after NBC News and CBS Radio decided to suspend his program for two weeks beginning April 16.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who led a protest with his Rainbow Coalition outside NBC’s offices in Chicago Monday, and the Rev. Al Sharpton, who grilled Imus during an interview on his radio show Monday, continue to call for NBC News and CBS Radio to fire Imus. Some newspaper columnists, and even NBC Today weatherman Al Roker, are also calling for NBC News and CBS Radio to oust Imus.
While NBC reporters and anchors such as Tim Russert and David Gregory are a staple on Imus in the Morning, no NBC staffers have appeared on the program this week.
Some regular guests, such as former CNN anchor Jeff Greenfield and HBO’s Bill Maher, appeared on the program Tuesday morning. Greenfield scolded Imus but said he would continue to appear on his show.
“One of the things that I think would be really useful in the two weeks that you’re off is not to swear off making fun of black people who do dumb things. I mean, you know, if Barack Obama or Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson says things that are hypocritical, I mean the idea that Reverend Sharpton gets to decide what’s a racially inflammatory remark kind of shows that God has a sense of humor. But you may want to think about how you do that in a way that isn’t the most obvious stereo-typical comment to make about someone's skin color,” Greenfield said.