CBS sportscaster apologizes to two Duke students|
By Richard Rubin |
Note: The following stories are the most recent wire transmissions from SportsTicker and other ESPN.com sources. Versions of some of these stories appear elsewhere on the service.
Durham, North Carolina (U-WIRE) -- Through an e-mail to two students, Billy Packer said he never intended "to disparage Duke University or its students."
CBS basketball commentator Billy Packer apologized Monday to two Duke students for sexist remarks he made to them at a home more than a week ago.
"I am sorry you were offended by my comments as I entered Cameron on Feb. 26," Packer wrote in a brief e-mail to Trinity junior Jen Feinberg and Pratt junior Sarah Bradley. "It was never my intention to disparage Duke University or its students."
Bradley and Feinberg responded and accepted Packer's apology Wednesday.
"We were pleased to see it. I was actually sort of stunned when I saw it pop up in my e-mail," Feinberg said Wednesday afternoon. "We're glad to have it resolved."
CBS had no official statement on the issue, saying that it was between Packer and the students. Packer, who was criticized in 1996 for calling basketball star Allen Iverson a "tough monkey," declined further comment Monday, calling it a "personal matter."
Packer's comments came to light last week in a letter the two students sent to CBS Sports President Sean McManus and to The Chronicle. According to the letter, Packer made "inappropriate and derogatory remarks" to them as they checked identification and press passes at the Cameron Indoor Stadium entrance.
When they asked Packer to show his press pass, the announcer allegedly said, "Since when do we let women control who gets into a men's basketball game? Why don't you go find a women's game to let people into?"
A stadium official who saw the interaction apparently guessed that Packer was just joking, whereupon Packer turned around and said, "No, that's just the kind of guy I am."
Based on this comment, Feinberg said she realized that Packer was unaware that his statements could be seen as offensive.
But now, after receiving the apology, Feinberg said she feels that Packer understands the potential inappropriateness of his comments.
"I'm glad that CBS Sports stuck to their policy against bias in any manner and I'm glad that he acknowledged that his comments were taken as offensive," she said.
The last few days have brought a flood of phone calls to Feinberg and Bradley from supporters, critics and members of the news media.
They had several requests to do live talk radio shows but, Feinberg said, "We decided that was just not for us."