'He was genuinely remorseful’ – Rutgers coach comments on death of Don ImusPosted: Updated:
It has been almost a week since the death of radio shock jock Don Imus.
Imus was known for many things, but nearly every obituary included his link to the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team and racially-charged comments he made that ultimately led to him getting fired.
Imus was fired largely in part to the efforts of Coach C. Vivian Stringer, who fought back and called Imus out on his comments. Stringer made her first public comments about Imus’s death to News 12 New Jersey.
Stringer offered her condolences to Imus’s family and says that Rutgers has found peace. She says that she is proud of how her team responded to Imus’s “hateful words.”
It was April 4, 2007 – Imus made the comments during his show on WFAN. He mentioned watching the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship featuring the Rutgers Women’s team playing against Tennessee. He commented that the girls on the Rutgers team, who were mostly African American, looked “rough” and commented about how many of them had tattoos. He also referred to the women as “nappy-headed hoes.”
Imus was fired from WFAN due to outrage over the comments. He eventually apologized to the team and Coach Stringer face to face. Stinger says that she forgave him then, but that 2007 was the last time that they spoke.
“He was genuinely remorseful and everybody makes mistakes and says things they shouldn’t say,” says Stringer.
Stringer says that she doesn’t think about the situation often, but, “to say that it didn’t hurt is not true.”
But she says that she won’t let the situation consumer her. Stringer defended her team and helped create positive change for women of color.
Imus was eventually hired by another radio station and continued his career. Stringer says that Imus’s relationship with the Rutgers team should not be all that defines him.
“I know he’s done a lot of good things as well, and so, I think if he could have his day again, he would probably, you know, take those words back,” Stringer says.
Last year, Imus told CBS This Morning that he regretted what happened, in part because the team did not deserve to be made fun of. And also, because they did not have a mechanism to defend themselves.
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