Below The Beltway

I believe in the free speech that liberals used to believe in, the economic freedom that conservatives used to believe in, and the personal freedom that America used to believe in.

The Rutgers Women Speak Out On Imus

After a week in which pretty much everyone else had their say on the controversy surrounding Don Imus’s remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team, the team itself spoke out today:

Rutgers University’s women’s basketball players today strongly criticized talk show host Don Imus for making racist and sexist remarks about the team.

But they agreed to a face-to-face meeting with the shock jock nonetheless, hoping, some team members said, that the controversy will raise racial consciousness across the United States.

“This has scarred me for life,” Matee Ajavon, a junior guard from Newark, said of Imus’s comments, which have renewed a national debate on race relations and the role media figures can play in dividing and unifying people.

But the attention given to the controversy will bring attention to racism, which is “something serious that we really need to get across to the nation,” said Ajavon, one of eight black members of the team.

The athletes told reporters at a news conference on Rutgers’ main campus in Piscataway, N.J., that they will meet with Imus so he can explain why he called them “nappy-headed hos” a day after they played for the NCAA championship last week.

“I would like to express our team’s great anger,” said the team’s captain, Essence Carson, a junior from Patterson, N.J., who is a straight A student and an accomplished pianist.

Even so, “we have agreed to have a meeting with Mr. Don Imus . . . a private meeting at an undisclosed location in the near future,” Carson said, adding, “A lot of positive things could come from this.”

Team members used words such as disgusting, reprehensible and unconscionable to describe Imus’ on-air comments, made while he was discussing Rutgers’ loss to Tennessee in the NCAA title game.

Rutgers, a state university that has more than 50,000 students on three campuses, reached the finals as a decided underdog.

“To utter such despicable words is not right,” said C. Vivian Stringer, the team’s head coach. “These young ladies before you are valedictorians, future doctors, musical prodigies. These young ladies are the best this nation has to offer

The unfortunate thing is that, after a season in which they truly did play remarkably and better than anyone ever expected, this team is going to be remember not for what they accomplished but for their small role in this controversial story.

Update 4/12/2007: One commentor asks a question about the academic status of the Rutgers women’s team. This quote from an ABC News article seems to answer the question:

The Rutgers team has an average GPA of 3.0 and includes a science prodigy, a valedictorian and Essence Carson, who plays four musical instruments.

Whatever their GPA, though, they didn’t deserve to be treated the way they were.? I am beginning to thing that all this non-stop Imus coverage is a bit over done, and I’m getting sick of the reporters who ask “experts” like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton what this means about race relations in America, but there is one thing that is emphatically clear…….

Don Imus is a jerk.

4 Responses to “The Rutgers Women Speak Out On Imus”

  1. Greg Laden says:

    I think it is interesting that the conversation has settled in many areas on two choices: Fire Imus and thus end his career, vs. give him a slap on the hand (such as a two week vacation). There are more options. See:

    http://gregladen.com/wordpress/?p=679

  2. ellen says:

    So, 1 girl said it had ?scarred her for life???? toughen up!
    News flash: just where do they think that expression came from?? It came from their hero?s, Rappers, who sing that in almost every ?song? they make, which no doubt these girls own all of their CD?s of?
    What total and complete hypocrites…

  3. Ellen,

    You assume that she considers rappers who call women `ho’s to be heros.

    These are women with GPA’s at 3.6 and above. And a team that nobody thought could make it past the first round that made it to the championship.

    Don Imus is a cranky old loser. I don’t care about the nappy headed part, but to compare them to hookers is just an insult.

    Then again, he’s made a living insulting people.

  4. superdestroyer says:

    doug, when do not know these women’s GPA. It would be a violation of federal regulation for the school to tell you their GPA’s. I was amazed that C. VIVIAN STRINGER claimed that her players had 4.0 GPA when Rutgers does not have any players on the Academic All-American team? Also, the women’s basketball team does not even have a media guide.

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