Asked in an e-mail message what he was trying to convey, Mr. Imus wrote: “I meant he was being picked on because he’s black.’’ He added that Dick Gregory, a veteran comedian and activist who is black, would be a guest on his show on Tuesday, to discuss the death of George Carlin. “We’ll see what he thinks,’’ Mr. Imus wrote. “I mean…come on!’’
So all that's left now is to figure out if we buy it.
Myself? I won't pretend to know what's in Don Imus's heart. I don't even listen to his show (here's a guy who does, though, if you're interested in his opinion).
After the Rutgers thing, it's believable that there are some nasty little racist thoughts running around in Imus's head.
It's also believable that he learned from the fallout after his indefensible comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team, he has no interest in going through that again, he doesn't want to be forever branded a racist, and he's extremely careful about racial issues now, perhaps so much so that he'd tread lightly even on the topic of Adam "I Used to Make it Rain when I was known as Pacman" Jones.
That a black man would be unfairly targeted by police isn't exactly a crazy notion, either.
But no matter what the guy meant, he should probably be aware that, given his past, he maybe ought to offer up a little more explanation when a subject like this comes up. He's not going to be the most sympathetic case in the world.
But this is an NFL blog, and not a Don Imus blog. Again, I'm not going to guess what it is that really lies at the core of his beliefs. One, because I can't, and two, because as it relates to the NFL, I see no impact here.