UPDATE: Click for some live blogging on Monday.
2nd UPDATE: NBC News suspends Imus for two weeks.
3rd update: CBS fires Imus.
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Phil Sheridan of The Philadelphia Inquirer nails it:
"The Rutgers women's basketball team - coached by C. Vivian Stringer, one of the classiest acts in all of sports - reached the Final Four, played earlier this week in Cleveland. The Scarlet Knights beat Louisiana State for the right to play powerhouse Tennessee in the final.
Months after Greg Schiano's football team established itself on the national scene, the women's basketball team brought more positive attention to Rutgers athletics. Within days, the team's members are slurred on national TV and their university president and the NCAA are issuing joint statements in their defense.
Imus brought this up specifically to sneer at the physical appearance of the Rutgers women, calling them "nappy-headed hos" in stark contrast to the "cute" Tennessee players. What kind of man feels the need to heap scorn on young women who play college basketball? Take the racism out and the remarks are merely unnecessary and cruel."
And C. Vivian Stringer demonstrates the power of character in her statement. Here's an excerpt:
"To serve as a joke of Mr. Imus in such an insensitive manner creates a wedge and makes light of the efforts of these classy individuals, both as women and as women of color. It is unfortunate Mr. Imus sought to tarnish Rutgers' spirit and success. Should we not, as adults, send a message of encouragement to young people to aspire to the highest levels as my team did this season?
"It is of the utmost importance to be an inspiration to young people and I truly believe my team represented Rutgers University, the state of New Jersey, and NCAA student-athletes across the country in the highest manner. I am proud of these young women and strongly encourage Mr. Imus to instead read the headlines and the stories that told of our triumphs the past six months."
NABJ has its say (hat tip to MultiCultClassics): "Bryan Monroe, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, said Imus should be fired. “Those comments were beyond offensive,” said Monroe on the NABJ web site."
There is support for Rutgers from UT fans, too. Here's an example, from Poster Girl: "I hate to give the guy publicity for a series of stupid comments, but, I think it's important that we all take note of the bigotry that still exists in our country today (and the microphones available to particular bigots). For a long time, I have hated that MSNBC airs Imus' show each morning, and now I think I might have to write a letter expressing my supreme disdain for their support of Mr. Imus.
I don't care if my team won by 13 points the other night. Coach C. Vivian Stringer and the Lady Scarlet Knights are to be respected and admired for their efforts. They are not to be insulted or slandered because of their race or ethnicity."
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