We are such a forgiving people, aren’t we?
Rutgers women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer offered her condolences to the family of late radio shock jock Don Imus, who infamously called her Scarlet Knights team “nappy-headed hos” during a broadcast in 2007.
On Tuesday, the longtime coach read from a prepared statement at a postgame news conference, saying “prayers go out” to the family of Imus, who died at 79 last week.
“The Rutgers family has found peace through the years, and we are proud of our response to the hateful words that he had years ago,” said the Hall of Fame coach, as reported by The New York Daily News. “As African-American women, we don’t feel that we should be treated—or anyone else should be treated—like that.”
A national outcry followed, resulting in Imus losing a lucrative syndicated radio show on CBS and his TV show on MSNBC after making a public apology.
But of course, he rebounded with a new gig—even though he had a history of racist rhetoric—once referring to broadcast journalism pioneer and White House correspondent as “the cleaning lady.”
He did, however, reveal that he regretted the poor error in judgment years later during an interview with CBS Sunday Morning commemorating the sunset of his 50-year radio career.
“It did change my feeling about making fun of some people who didn’t deserve to be made fun of, and didn’t have a mechanism to defend themselves,” Imus told correspondent Anthony Mason.
Stringer, 71, said although the incident did hurt, she hadn’t thought it for years.
“He genuinely felt, I think, remorse for the words he said,” she said. “Everybody makes mistakes and says things that they shouldn’t say. I think that our players learned a lot from that, and I’m proud of them and our basketball team.”
“We accept it and we move forward,” she added.
Bless her heart.