Over 12 years ago, shock jock Don Imus was fired for his on-air comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. During the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, Imus was commenting on the players being “rough girls” because they had tattoos. His executive producer called the women, nine of whom were black, “hardcore hos.” Imus quipped they were “nappy-headed hos” before the producer replied the teams looked like “jigaboos versus the wannabes.” The latter was not only a racially-charged insult but a reference to Spike Lee’s classic 1988 film School Daze.
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Imus was later fired from CBS Radio, but that wasn’t the end of his career as he was hired on with another broadcasting company just months later. The incident has been long forgotten by many, but after Imus passed away during the holiday season, his controversial moment once again took center stage.
Longtime Rutgers women’s basketball coach Vin Stringer has made a statement about the talk show host’s passing, and she offered her condolences to his family. Where some have harbored unforgiveness over the years, Stringer said that she hasn’t even thought about the scandal for quite some time. However, Imus’s previous insults still hit hard.
“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,” Stringer said in a statement. “As African-American women, we don’t feel that we should be treated ― or anyone else should be treated ― like that.” She added, “He genuinely felt, I think, remorse for the words he 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.”