NEW YORK -- Just months after returning to the airwaves with
a pledge to mend the wounds caused by his racist and sexist comment
about a women's basketball team, Don Imus is again drawing fire for
injecting race into his radio show.
Told by sports announcer Warner Wolf that Jones, who used to be
nicknamed Pacman, is "African-American," Imus responded: "There
you go. Now we know."
The exchange came six months after Imus' return to work on a new
show on WABC-AM following his firing from MSNBC and CBS Radio for
making a racially and sexually charged comment about the Rutgers
University women's basketball team. When he returned to work, Imus
gave a lengthy on-air apology and pledged to use his new show to
foster an open dialogue on race relations.
Later Monday, Imus responded to criticism of his comments,
saying he had been misunderstood.
"I meant that he was being picked on because he's black," Imus
said in a statement released by his spokesman.
Adam Jones talks about his first workout with the Cowboys.
Civil rights leader Al Sharpton, one of the chief critics who
successfully pushed for Imus' firing from his televised radio show
last April, criticized Imus' comments Monday.
"I find the inference of his remark disturbing because it plays
into stereotypes," Sharpton said in a statement. "We will
determine in the next day or so whether or not his remark warrants
direct action on our part."
WABC and Citadel Broadcasting Corp. Vice President Phil Boyce
said Imus would be explaining his comments on his Tuesday morning
show and it was unlikely the broadcasters would take disciplinary
action against him.
Boyce said Imus had explained his words in a private
conversation Monday afternoon and the explanation was satisfactory.
"I think some people may be misunderstanding what he meant,"
did not immediately respond to an e-mail.
Rutgers University women's basketball spokeswoman Stacey Brann
said there was "no need to revisit the past" and wouldn't comment
On Monday's show, Imus and Wolf were discussing Jones' request
Saturday that people stop using his nickname. Wolf explained Jones
was suspended from the NFL following a shooting at a Las Vegas
nightclub, and he added that Jones had been "arrested six times
since being drafted by Tennessee in 2005."
Imus' next words were, "What color is he?"
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.