As you may know, this is a racist term used by some when they refer to the iconic civil rights leader. As you can hear from the audio clip, Greenberg quickly corrected himself. He also later issued the following statement:
I just came home from the Knicks game and found out about the mess that was created by my garbling a sentence on our show this morning; I apologize for not addressing it sooner.
And I'm sorry that my talking too fast - and slurring my words - might have given people who don't know our show the wrong impression about us, and about me.
I feel horrible about that, because nothing could be further away from who I am and what our show is about.
I would never say anything like that, not in public, or in private, or in the silence of my own mind, and neither would anyone associated with our show, and I'm very sorry that my stumble this morning gave so many people the opposite impression.Some feel an apology isn't enough and that Greenberg should face suspension or be fired. Because we can only speculate as to what might be in Greenberg's heart when it comes to race, I'm giving him a pass. Maybe I am more willing to give Greenberg the benefit of a doubt because I know how it is to talk live on the air and get my words tangled. Although I've never used a derogatory term on the air when I've garbled words, I can see how it could happen. For example, ABC news personality Elizabeth Vargas is known in circles by the derisive nickname "Elizabitch". Someone could have knowledge of this and mistakenly slip and say on the air "Elizabitch Vargas". It doesn't mean they are sexist or even think that Ms. Vargas is a bitch. All it shows is that at the very least, they have knowledge of the nickname. My feeling is that Mike Greenberg is aware of the term "Martin Luther Coon" and had a brain cramp on live radio.
Although I'm giving Mike Greenberg a pass on this one, I've got my eyyees on him!
Does Mike Greenberg get the benefit of the doubt from you?