Popular ESPN radio show host Mike Greenberg set the Internet ablaze when he slipped in the intro to the “Mike & Mike” to the show and said “Martin Luther coon” instead of Martin Luther King holiday. Almost instantaneously, Greenberg corrected himself and said “King” after uttering “coon” and continued on with the rest of the show as if nothing happened.
Greenberg (left in picture), who co-hosts the “Mike & Mike” show with former NFL star Mike Golic (right), has since issued a statement offering an apology:
“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.”
Predictably, the comments about Greenberg’s faux pas on Twitter, Facebook and a myriad of blogs are split into two camps: one side adopts a “move-along, nothing-to-see-here” posture. They say Greenberg is only guilty of human frailty, not racism. The other side believes the contents of Greenberg’s soul finally spilled off his tongue at the most inopportune time. Here is a brief sampling of the responses:
Keith Wilson, a black man from Lithonia, Ga., says: “I really don’t think there’s nuthin to that. Greenberg is a cool dude. I think it was a mix from him bout to say holiday after King.”
Matt Sloan, a white man from New York, rebuffed Wilson when he said: “If he would’ve said Abraham Lin-coon, I’d understand the mix up.”
“He didn’t say Martin Luther Sambo or Martin Luther Jigaboo. He was blending King and jUNior and it came out Martin Luther Coon. It was a mistake. I always call it “em el kay day” [MLK] for this very reason,” offers Gabriel S.
“He spoke from his soul,” writes Gloria Brown, who says Greenberg’s words revealed the contents of his character. “If it is in you, it will come out!” –terry shrosphire
What’s your take on Mike Greenberg’s verbal slipup?