Video: ESPN Mike Greenberg Says Martin Luther “Coon” instead of “King” On Air | BlackSportsOnline

Video: ESPN Mike Greenberg Says Martin Luther “Coon” instead of “King” On Air

by Robert Littal | Posted on Monday, January 18th, 2010
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Mike Greenberg needs to address this immediately and not just with an apology, but an explanation of how it happened.

Words like “Coon” are not the type that usually just “slip out”.

Nothing in Greenberg’s history shows that he intentionally meant to do it, but an explanation and apology is needed and it is needed immediately. I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He appears to be a very nice guy and there has never been any hint of controversy surrounding him to my knowledge.

So an apology would be enough for me.

Someone made the point it is quite possible that Greenberg was using the word off air and that is what caused the slip on air.

That is speculation, but there are plenty of people on the Mike and Mike in the Morning set, so I would hope if that was the case one of them would bring to management in what regards Greenberg was using the word.

Once again that is just speculation and hopefully Greenberg himself will address the issue soon because even if a honest mistake he needs to acknowledge it and not act like it didn’t happen.


Mike Greenberg has issued a statement and I consider the issue closed, here is what he said:

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.


This will be the last time I address this.

Do I believe Mike Greenberg apology?

Doesn’t matter because unless someone is willing to step up and give a reason why I shouldn’t believe him I am not going to make accusations. I have a set of principles that will not change. One of those principles is before I throw around very accusatory words that I have a strong set of facts to back them up. In this case I have none.

Do I have my suscpions?

Absolutely, but it would be hypocritical to label someone when this site was built on the foundation of being unbiased. At that point I become the type of journalist who I have promised my audience I would never become.

I do believe the apology should have been on air and punishment should have been consistent with other ESPN employees who have had similar slip ups in the past.

At this point I have nothing else to say except my words are my words. They don’t need to be interpreted I always mean exactly what I write and say. Point blank period.

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Displaying 143 Comments
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  1. Uncle Tom says:

    Typical niggers. Niggers are more racist then any white person I ever met.

    • Aaron says:

      well since all the good your race done in the world is a speck compared to all the evil white people have done I can see why you are so hated. Plus name calling like that doesn’t help. But what should I expect from a hick high school drop out. Don’t hate me because you want to be me.

      • Aaron says:

        and by the way why are most to all of white men gay??

      • Karyn Burton says:

        I agree,white people expect us to accept what they say & be ok with it! Well we have a right to feel Hatred towards some of you Devils! True you hate us because you fear us.

        • Justin says:

          Well here the pot is calling the kettle “black”. You have the right to feel hatred, why? Because your ancestors sold you to some white merchant rather than killing your ancestors simply because they were viewed as a weak and inferior tribe. So your ancestors get moved to this country and put into slavery here. Not nearly as long lived as your time of slavery would have been by your own “black” superiors in Africa, I might add. They still own you people in Africa. Yeah, I used you people, though for some of the garbage you people are spilling, i’m not sure I can classify you as people. Now you guys that were freed some 200 years ago,think you have some right to feel hatred towards us for the acts of our ancestors and that of your own. Shows me exactly the kind of racist ignorant fools you are. I feel no shame for what my fore-fathers did, good or bad. Why, because it wasn’t my acts. Then Aaron is the biggest idiot yet. Why are most all white men gay? lol. You might want to take a better look at the gay population. There are just as many gay “blacks” as there are “whites”. Whatever you do, don’t piss off the gay black communities with your trash. Then they might start yelling racism all the time and put the NAACP out of business. (let’s pray) Then we would have yet another community of entitled ignorance. But at least the majority of the gay black community would have jobs and contribute something, other than racial propaganda over the internet. So I guess unlike “you people”, they would actually have something to be entitled for. Good lord what is wrong is wrong with YOU PEOPLE!!!

          • Justin says:

            And Karyn, what’s to fear sweety? If a person works, pays taxes and tries to do the right thing by others; what’s to fear? White these days, are racial profiled and belittled way more than the entitled blacks. Who the majority of, still can’t find it in there hearts to get off there rears and stop living off the government tit. Even more will drop out and not educate themselves. What’s to fear? Obama? Do you think he really is in office to support the blacks? I do kind of fear him. Not really him so much as the direction he’s taken this country and it’s economy that have all grown worse. lol

    • Rivers says:

      @Uncle Tom Typical racist trying to put their blame problems on blacks!

  2. Michael says:

    So those with the thoughts that Greenburg must think this way all of the time and those white people who do not think it is bad must have sketetons in their closet; take a close look at some of these posts. The names that are coming out must be slips of the type. Believe me Elwyn when I say that the only thing that is WEAK is society thinking that race is a one sided card. Look at YOUR own comments coward!!! I am sure you like all of your friends think that you cannot be a racist (Charles Barkley).

  3. solesman says:

    before we pass judgment on his intentions, we must first research his voting record and find out if he is a democrat or republican

  4. Keyshaun Johnson says:

    i'm PISSED OFF is not right he can't get a pass on this he said it and he meant what he said. i will be talk to ESPN and NFL and i will step down if rhis is not address fairly…..

  5. Mr. Furley says:

    Fire that racist jew!!

    • Karyn Burton says:

      I agree, he should be fired! What he said was very offensive to the entire Nation.

      • hmmm says:

        so was what Jerimiah Wright said and those black churches have given him a free pass. how dare you say that white DJ's should be held to higher standards than black community leaders.

    • hmmmm says:

      Fire that racist Negro (Jerimiah Wright)! Fire that racist Negro (Al Sharpton) Fire that racist Negro (Jesse Jackson) Fire that racist Negro (Louis FarraKKKHan).
      Blacks treat Jews worse than the KKK treated you. Jews SHOULD begin talkin about black folks the way blackkk "civil rights" leaders talk about them. Then blacks would collectively cry "RAAAAACCCIST JEEEEEW"
      Jews should never have taken part in the civil rights movement. Blacks have become the new KKK to EVERYONE- Jews, Asians, Hispanics, gays, women. In Philly right now CHinese kids can't go to school because they are bombared by hate crimes by blacks. Just like whites once did to blacks. You are movin on up!

  6. Galgon says:

    He clearly said King and Junior together… has anyone here actually never had that happen to them? when you're thinking 2 or 3 words ahead and you just jumble them… give the guy a break.

  7. Matt says:

    That fact that most posts either say it was a mistake, not an issue or to hit it head on with an apology is a testament to he being innocent of a greater wrong. Clearly, Grennie exhibits no history of prejudice or racial undertones. Especially given the fact he quite often laments himself given his Jewish background and law degree.

  8. john lawson says:

    i'm an african-american man and i'm not offended at all. clearly this was a slip of the tongue. i listen to this show all the time and always hear these guys run words together. i my opinion, his thoughts were manifesting quicker than he could speak. he ran together the words king and junior and that's what came out. for those people who are offended, i don't see or feel any ill intent through that slip up and don't feel that energy should be wasted on being upset

  9. JLW says:

    Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. That was in his heart !

  10. connecticut fool says:

    i don't think he did it on purpose, however they should can the whole show because it sucks.

  11. Mike Smith says:

    There is no way he said that on purpose. If you listen to the show Mike is not a racist, he just blurred his words and we unfortunately live in a society where people wanna scream about racial inequality. I'm a white male, I'm discriminated on more than anybody these days. Martin Luther King was a great man and I think everybody with any sense is proud of what he did for our country. Both white and black.

  12. rob says:

    what the hell are you people smoking? "king junior" sounds nothing like "COON". obviously the thought was previously in his mind from a joke or convo he previously had. He might as well have said "Martin Luther King is a nigger"…the guy's a bigot. Not that I really care. It's a free country and you're allowed to be racist, but i wont be supporting this guy or his show anymore…

    • Sam says:

      K ing jUNior……yes mashing those two words together could sound like "coon". I dont know whats in his heart and neither do you. I'm sure their show wont miss you.

  13. Emery Freeman says:

    mike is a liar- "a devil" this is not a slip espn should be taken off air with him.

  14. Kevin says:

    Mike is just like the rest of the undercover racist. And anyone that makes excuses for what he said is just like he is.

  15. Frank says:

    I think he made an honest mistake, but he has doubters because he did'nt address it sooner.You can't just
    sit there and act like nobody heard what you just said.Damn Greeny.

  16. Evan says:

    I think assuming that he meant it as a racial slur and assuming that he didn't are the same thing. I like Greeny but I can't read his mind.

  17. Michael Devereaux says:

    I could see if it was an accident, he may have blended King and Junior together, but if I was in his shoes, I would have noticed it immediately, realized the ramification of the mistake and issued an apology right away like this…

    "We welcome you to Mike and Mike in the morning and wish you well on Martin Luther Koon–King Jr Day today….

    I apologize for the way what I said just came out folks, I mistakenly jumbled the words King and Junior together, it was in no way deliberate on my part. We wish you a very happy Martin Luther KING day, and Greeny, a lot of NFL to get to…."

    I think that would be appropriate….

    It's unfortunate it had to happen, the black community celebrates MLK day with very high regard, and even for one day of the year, it ends up turning into a racial blunder. Sad.

  18. Dan Bradstreet says:

    Why Linfield holds class on Martin Luther King jr Day I don’t quite understand, this is a federally recognized holiday which

  19. DG says:

    Oh REALLY!!!? He made a slip up?

    So did another anchor on the same day. doesn't sound like a slip up now. Sounds like what some people call it on a daily basis but when they are in the public try to play it down.

  20. jay says:

    He said it and he meant it. ? You don't say the "N" word by accident. That's the same thing. Spare me the bull. Are you people that naive to think racism doesn't exist. Just because you never heard him say it before doesn't mean he's not racist. Unless you know him personally don't say he didn't mean it.

    • hmmm says:

      and unless YOU know him don't say he DID mean it. He's innocent until proven guilty and his track record is very good. I give the man a free pass. I mean, Jesse Jackson has got a half dozen racial slurs under his belt

  21. Matt from Maryland says:

    Robert, thanks for being unbiased especially in this case. It would be a shame for Greenberg to lose his career over what I think is a fumbling of words. Anyone who listens to his show like I have for 10 years knows what this guy is all about. Yes a terrible word to fly out, but clearly to me, a jumbling of words.

  22. goody says:

    it's seems like they are going to bury this because i been sending messages to tmz cnn espn and every other news spot but to no success. i think we should keep sending them to tmz and others to they are forced to responed.. no different when they go after pro players over something which would be consider a slip but they dont bury it like espn has..they make it a story so if you want justice keep sending messages and keep the word out.

    dont let them get away with this

    • hmmm says:

      "it's seems like they are going to bury this because i been sending messages to tmz cnn espn and every other news spot but to no success. "
      Funny cause I've been senging messages to tmz, cnn, and espn and every other news spot about the murder of an elderly man by 7 young thugs. NONE of them have carried it either. Gee, I guess there is a conspircay?

  23. NIKKIBLU says:


  24. Todd Sweeny says:

    That is HYSTERICAL!!! Just FYI: MLK cheated religiously on his wife and plagiarized a majority of his speeches. Not a good man,

  25. Sam says:


    In the article you say it just seemed like a mistake, but earlier in the comments you say you don't buy the King,Junior theory, insinuating it was intentional. So which is it?

  26. matthew says:

    I am a regular listener to the show and greeny is definitely not the type of guy to be like that. plus if you watch even just twenty minutes of the show you will find out pretty quick that he fumbles his words around a lot. no problem. end of discussion

  27. kmtlaw says:

    MIke & Mke are finished

  28. Walt says:

    I am extremely disappointed in Mike even today on his past actions on Martin Luther King Day. His response is typical of politicians and high profile people who think they are above others don't have to answer the questions honestly. He makes the average guy who has aspired to be successful but lies about his actions once he has some success. What most commentators need to say to themselves, what am I going to do about this. Since he won't give a legitimate answer I don't watch ESPN anymore. I really have supported this station in the past but if their sportscasters don't have the guts to say they are wrong instead of, I slurred my words together and it is not what I said, I have no need for this network. Sometimes you just have to take a stand. The best part of it is other channels have sports and I feel great because I took a stand on an issue that I wished never happened.

  29. nigga hater says:

    lol, niggers these days.

    • Jesus loves us all. says:

      I'm white. And I love black people just like I love white people, Hispanic people, Asian people, and everyone else. This is disgusting how everyone's using the race card. No one in their right mind gives a crap what skin color anyone here is. You obviously are not in the right mind. Something's wrong with you. Ya racist pig!

  30. Jesus loves us all. says:

    All of you playing the race card need to do the world a favor and shut up! Nobody in their right mind gives a freaking crap what skin color anyone is! If they do care about it, then they're obviously not in their right mind! Racism exists among all races; from blacks, from whites, from every race! Anyone that doesn't believe that is smoking something! It doesn't matter who's more racist! Racism is horrible no matter whether it comes from a white person or a black person, or anyone else for that matter! This is pathetic!

    This is way over-dramatized! Anyone that watches or listens to Mike and Mike on a regular basis would know that Greeny is certainly not a racist! There's absolutely no reason to believe he is! Actually, a black athlete would probably be the first person to come to Greeny's defense! There's absolutely no way he meant to use a racial slur!

    Martin Luther King's probably rolling in his grave listening to all of you people! Oh darn, now everyone's going to say I meant black or white people by "you people", because some people are screwed up in the head and love to stir up drama! For the record, I mean everyone when I say "you people".

    Someone can send the KKK, the Black Panthers, the Neo Nazis, skin heads, and all the other hate groups to my front yard for all I care. I'll be ready with eggs and tomatoes to throw at all of them. Scratch that……. Make that bricks to throw at all of them. That or I'll just shoot them all with a paintball gun. Either way, it would be worth going to jail for. lol

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  34. Justin says:

    Now to the actual subject at hand. If the guy said Coon, it could have been a slight of tongue, but I doubt it. This guy likely said what he said intentionally. If it wasn’t intended for the air, that might have been a slight of tongue. But the fact is, he’s used it probably on more than one occasion. Now, take a look at many black celebs, leader and so forth. How many times have they preached hateful things about da white man? Yet we just let it slide because some crap that happened hundreds of years ago, by people who aren’t alive today. wow! So do I care that Mike said this? About as much as I care when it’s ok for a number of black leaders to bash whites. ZERO

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