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Imus' comments result in spirited debate

Don Imus' mention of the Rutgers women's basketball team after their loss in the championship game has drawn more than 1,000 comments from ESPN.com readers in the past week.

The radio talk show host, who has apologized for his remarks about their looks and will be suspended for two weeks, sparked a wide-ranging discussion about race, gender, the use of language and appropriate responses.

Below are some of the best comments from the many sides of the argument.

Rutgers women's team, coach speak out
He called young student athletes who are making something of their lives hos, why? What did they do to deserve this. Try to make something of themselves in college. Being role models for other young women to go to college and accomplish something. Hos? For playing their hearts out in the tournament and doing right by their school. It's not racist, it's just stupidity in a class all it's own. He ran down some young student athletes the day after they played their hearts out. And people say this is free speech, this is ok. We should hold these type of individuals up, not run them down, and its sad people don't realize that, it really is.
-- Fullserenity

OMG! white male here, black male here, purple elephant over there-does it matter what race you are to be offended by what was said? Report this story on espn for 1 or 2 days to get the teams reaction and then end it. Beyond that it should be on CNN.com because the "sports" story line ends at reporting and reaction. I was totally offended by his remarks, doesnt matter what race or gender that I am, and I am not minimizing the situation-just would rather see it reported on a world news website, not a world sports website.
-- joeybo77

What he said was distasteful, but he has a right to say whatever he wants. He's a comedian on a talk radio show. If you don't like it, change the channel. There are so many double standards out there it's unbelieveable. On another note, I'm more interested in Al Sharpton than Imus. The only reason he cares about this issue is because of the amount of publicity it is getting. Does he even have a job? If a social injustice occurs and there are no cameras there to film it, would Al Sharpton get involved?
-- JTB083

Imus tells Sharpton he can't win with 'you people'
I agree with everyone that says Imus has the right to say whatever he wants. That is actually one of the things that makes this country so great. On the other hand, I think that certain groups have the power to control what others say about them in public by using their economic power. That's the key. Corporations and other groups needs to understand that there will be consequences for their employees actions.
-- mvp3030

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are black and angry. Yes, we get it. The only people who should be calling for the firing of Imus are the actual Rutgers girls he insulted, and they don't seem to have taken it to heart, and look at it as what it was, an awful attempt at humor. Fired or not, let the girls speak for themselves. IF Imus hadn't used the word "nappy-headed", would this even be "racist", how about if he stuck to calling them "hardcore hoes", like his buddy McGuirk did? Would Sharpton be speaking out? This should be between the offender and the offended, and if they see it fit for him to continue working then nobody else should have a problem with it. I'm so tired of Sharpton and Jackson and other mouthpieces speaking for a whole race, probably unbeknowst to them, they are setting back race relations years and years.
-- ElMasFranco

I am not going to comment on all the things above me because i truly believe it's a lack of understanding. I am an African-American male from the inner city. I am 23 years old and recently received my bachelors degree in Social Science. I would consider myself so far very successful. I for one did not take the comments to heart. Yes it bothered me that he said it, but i accept the mans apology. I do not like Al Sharpton. I know that he supposeldy does a lot for blacks but i dont see the results. All i see is a guy making a living off of our problems. If something happens he is the first one to open his mouth and the first to get a fat check for doing it. I know that remarks were harsh but i do not agree with this big uproar. I am sure imus has had african americans on his radio show. I don't listen to the show and never will. I think it's stories like this that are blown up and just throw fuel on the fire of racism. Yes i know racism exist but i choose to not pay attention to it. My college had a roughly 11 african americans out of 6,000. That does not bother me, because i feel like i am here for a education, not to look at numbers. I dont think sharpton is wrong for confronting imus but he expressed that he was sorry. I hear a lot of racist remarks from blacks and whites but i choose to tune it out because i know its not right. I am not going to sit here and say how horrible my life is because im black and blah blah blah, because it's not impossible to get through it. Yes it's a lot tougher then the average white male, but i feel like its made me a better person and will help me raise my future kids a lot better too because thats where it ultimately starts.
-- theamazing03

Rutgers women should be celebrated -- not insulted
This board presents a great (although unfortunate) opportunity for everyone to see how common racist, homophobic, and mysogenistic attitudes are in this country. And it showcases exactly why this country has not been able to deal with racism, homophobia, and mysogyny; those guilty don't realize it, and when confronted try to turn the conversation to others who may be guilty. Rappers are just as wrong as Imus, but that doesn't make Imus any less culpable. Chris Rock, although he does comment on race, does not call black women "nappy-headed hos." Tattoos aren't a symbol of sexual persuasion, and neither are muscles or basketball skill. I'm glad that in this national discussion and here on ESPN.com people are getting a chance to see how evil, misguided, and ignorant many people in this country still are. We have a long way to go.
-- dajuice7

I agree whole-heartedly with the post from ,wbrooks8997 (4/9/2007 at 5:47 PM), everyone was so quick to want Tim Hardaway and Michael Ray Richardson ousted but Imus gets a suspension because he apologized and looks and sounds remorseful. Talk about double standard, LOL. Then people want to mention some of rap music's degrading lyrics or black comedians saying this and saying that about black women and other races, but does that make any of the comments by anyone regardless of skin color right is my question? Nobody just wants to single out Imus but Michael Ray Richardson has a history of doing ignorant things (ie banned from the NBA for drugs) and he got fired for what he said and Imus has a history of saying ignorant things and he got suspended. Be consistent is all i'm saying, if the other 2 got fired for their remarks, why doesn't the Imus??
-- tbradley30

NABJ president demands firing of Imus
Not only were the remarks ignorant, but those girls are someone's kids... 18 & 19 kids out there doing something positive, shooting hoops... There was no reason for the personal attack. None what so ever. When will this stupid shock media end...? Racism was never go away, unless you blow up Earth and the lord start over again...
-- amcguire01

this is crazy .... some of you just don't get it .. it doesn't matter who does it to whom or where it comes from ... this man was trying to be funny by racially denigrating the women of that basketball team ... why because their skin was darker, the hair more closely cropped, they had tatoos who knows, probably a combination of all them, but their were white women on that team too, do you not think they were offended as well, RACISM IS WRONG, STEREOTYPES ARE WRONG, DENIGRATION IS WORNG .... NOW TO THOSE WHO ARE SAYING "GET OVER IT" ...... if you have been rich your whole life, I can't expect you to understand how it feels to be a poor person ... if you are a black person, you can't expect a person who is not black to understand why you feel the way you feel ...they can't understand because they're not black ... if you are not a black person, you can't tell a black person how and when to get offended because you dont know what they might or might not go through from day to day... if you don't have or have never wanted to have any tatoos, you won't understand why someone would get a tatoo ... so of course you're gonna say, "hey you asked for it, or hey money isn't everything, or hey slavery is the past, or hey everything's not racial ... so get over it" because you dont know what it feels like to be that person, you dont know what that person goes through everyday ... you might think you know how it feels but you don't, especially if everytime that person tries to "get over it", an idiot sticks his head up and reminds you it. so its all wrong .... and he should be fired ... period
-- bleedDUKEDEVILblue

As an African American female, my heart bleeds for those young ladies who worked incredibly hard to reach the NCAA finals, and have it spoiled by such a disrespectful comment. Debating about American history and the state of Racism today does not address the significance of these young ladies having a shining highlight of their lives (that few even achieve, male or female) shattered, because someone has the audacity to say whatever they feel. It angers me because this man is talking about children (theyre only 18-21 years old). Regardless of how you feel, these African American girls might know they are beautiful Black women and not hos, but the fact this comment is overshadowing their moment and will be something that will stay with them until they die. You will forget about it next week, but this is a heartbreaking story they will tell their children and grandchildren. They worked so hard in class and practice, came so close to a NCAA title. Lost, and had some man call them nappy-headed hos to top it off. Whether or not he should be fired, thats for you to debate. For his apology not to ring hallow, he should go directly to Rutgers, and speak to those young ladies face to face and apologize. Firing him, counseling, whatever, it means nothing to those girls without some sincerity and integrity.
-- BamaGirl5439