Note I am not saying he should not discuss race, I am saying he needs to be wary when he broaches the subject that caused him to be fired. Remember he previously called the Rutgers' female basketball team 'nappy headed hos'. It cost him his job, then this morning on his new morning radio show Imus, and his sports announcer had the following exchange which I quote from the AP story that is linked here:
"During an on-air conversation Monday about the arrests of suspended Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam Jones, Imus asked, "What color is he?"
Told by sports announcer Warner Wolf that Jones, who used to be nicknamed Pacman, is "African-American," Imus responded: "There you go. Now we know." "Imus has quickly defended his remarks, saying they were misunderstood "I meant that he was being picked on because he's black," .
The problem for Imus as I wrote ages ago, is that he has a history of saying the wrong thing, at some point, maybe the only person with a misunderstanding is Imus.
If Imus wanted to make a commentary on Jones being picked on he could have, he could have made a great stand there, in fact I would have applauded him if he had, but his "There you go. Now we know" even if it was a stand was a poor one. In fact it comes off as flippant and not something that I would expect from someone who is commenting on someone being picked on. Rather it seems like he is piling on Jones too.
This story will break more starting tomorrow and later in the week, but for now I am just surprised that Imus could have been so reckless.
Of course Al Sharpton is looking into it, and early word is that sponsors are upset (no shock). I think if you are a sponsor of the Imus show, you pretty much have to be willing to dodge bullets anyway, so this is just part of the package.
As JT the Brick noted on radio tonight, Imus is in a sticky position, if he comes out and apologizes for his remarks it means that he has acknowledged that he did something wrong, and that comes on the heels of the Rutgers mess. If he tries to ride it out, he will lose sponsors, he has to address it, and he has to address it in a better fashion than the 'misunderstood' release.
Transcript from AOL Sports
Wolf: "Defensive back Adam 'Pacman' Jones, recently signed by the Cowboys. Here's a guy suspended all of 2007 following a shooting in a Vegas night club."
Imus: "Well, stuff happens. You're in a night club, for God's sake. What do you think's gonna happen in a night club? People are drinking and doing drugs, there are women there, and people have guns. So, there, go ahead."
Wolf: "He's also been arrested six times since being drafted by Tennessee in 2005."
Imus: "What color is he?"
Wolf: "He's African-American."
Imus: "Well, there you go. Now we know."