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

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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.

*UPDATE*

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.

*UPDATE*

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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143 COMMENTS

  1. I believe it was definitely either something he was thinking or talking about prior to resuming the broadcast. We all have said something that we wish we could take back. I agree that an explanation and an apology is needed. To just ignore it and act like it didn't happen just makes the situation worse.

    • I agree that it was a slip of the tounge. He did not mean to say it, but it is in him. If he flushes his vocabulary and lifestyle from toying with racist comments such as these, they would not slip out. I believe he owes an apology and explanation.

  2. It sounds to me like he was on auto-pilot and combined "King" and "Junior" – sounds bad, and he should probably address it, but definitely not intentional.

    • No, that has been a comment made for years. I was one of only 12 Black students in my school and we were told to have a Happy Martin Luther Coon Day ever year at this time. This brought back uglly memories.

      • Mike is not responsible for it "bringing back ugly memories" for you. The way a lot of blacks treat other minorities should also "bring back ugly memories" yet you black folks never seem to connect the dots. Don't you think the way blacks have acted towards jews brings back "ugly memories" for them… or do their feelings not matter as much as yours?

  3. Wow, whatever the actual store, I agree; he definitely needs to address it. Mistakes happen, and one like this can't just be swept under the rug.

    • No Eric C. Mistakes like this should be swept under the rug. That's where uninentional verbal farts belong. They don't belong in a media circus where one side claims that the racism of a half century is as prevelant as ever and the other side claims back that minorities are whiners and insincere abour discrimiation.

      No. This is a non issue. Mike G has nothing to apologize for. Let's save accusations of racism for actual racism. It's more meaningful that way

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