Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Rutgers women's basketball strikes back

By Jared Trexler
The Phanatic Magazine

Rutgers women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer spoke with passion at a podium in Piscataway, New Jersey Tuesday afternoon.

It's a shame radio host Don Imus didn't do the same when uttering words of racism and bigotry to a national listening audience.

The Rutgers women's basketball team, instead of continuing to savor in the afterglow of an improbable tournament run and beginning preparation for next season, responded with compassion and composure to Imus' words on the national syndicated radio show (WFAN New York and telecast on MSNBC).

"To utter such despicable words are not right, whether spoken by black, white, purple or green," Stringer said. "It's time for everybody to reflect on what's going on. Oh, it's time ladies and gentlemen. It's been time."

Imus caused an uproar when bantering with the show's producer Bernard McGuirk, saying, "that's some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos..."

"Some hardcore hos," McGuirk replied.

"That's some nappy-headed hos there, I'm going to tell you that," Imus responded.

Imus was suspended on Monday for two weeks even after making a public apology and appearing on Rev. Al Sharpton's radio show. Sharpton is one of several prominent African American leaders calling for Imus' ouster.

"Our future relationship with Imus is contingent on his ability to live up to his word," a MSNBC spokesperson said late Monday. Imus promised to tone down such heavily sensitive discourse in the future.

The Rutgers women's basketball team plans to sit down with Imus in the coming days, likely sending the message spoken by Essence Carson.

"We ask that you not recognize us in a light as dimly lit as this," said Carson of Imus' remarks. "But in a light that encompasses the great hurdles we've overcome and the goals achieved this season."

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