Keeping up the recent FanHouse tradition of "all Imus, all the time," I bring you the latest athlete to weigh in on the controversy that seemingly won't go away. Etan Thomas of the Wizards had some strong opinions about the Don Imus issue in his latest SLAM column, and took the time to illustrate what could be viewed as a long history of these types of remarks from the tenured radio personality:
This is not the first time he has publicly made some type of racial insult on his show. He actually referred to Sen. Barack Obama as "that colored fellow." In addition, he called award-winning journalist Gwen Ifill of PBS a "cleaning lady" and referred to columnist William Rhoden of the New York Times as a "quota hire." According to a November 20, 2001, Newsday article, Imus's sports anchor Sid Rosenberg said on the air: "Listen, one of these days you're gonna see Venus and Serena Williams in Playboy." Imus replied, "You've got a better shot at National Geographic." Rosenberg also referred to Venus Williams as an "animal."
Yikes, not exactly the most politically correct remarks there, are they? I'm definitely not a fan of these types of comments, but I will say that generally speaking, our country as a whole has become way too sensitive when it comes to the remarks of celebrities. For me, it's pretty simple: if you don't like what someone has to say, then don't listen, and don't support their product.
Etan went on to join the list of people calling for Imus' head:
Imus has made it a pattern to make disparaging, hurtful, insulting, hateful remarks. Needless to say I have heard enough to come to the conclusion that it is time for him to go.
I'm a little torn here. I definitely don't endorse what Imus had to say, but I do believe that he had the right to say it, as long as he's willing to face the consequences. I don't necessarily think that we need to fire people or send them to rehab when they give us a glimpse into their true self; all we need to do is ignore them. If people were that offended by what Imus had to say (and again, I was), they would simply stop listening to his show, the ratings would plunge, and he would be out of a job because he wasn't making his company any money. In my opinion, that would be a much harsher reality for someone like Imus to face than the one he's facing now.
[via The Bog]