MSNBC Anchor Apologizes After Appearing to Use N-Word During Kobe Bryant Coverage

Kobe Bryant
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An MSNBC anchor apologized Sunday after appearing to drop the “N-Word” during the network’s coverage of the helicopter death of NBA star Kobe Bryant.

Host Alison Morris was speaking about the influence that Bryant had on pro basketball and, at one point, seemed to call his team the L.A. “Nakers,” before correcting herself to pronounce is properly as “Lakers.”

But many viewers and subsequent attackers on social media accused Morris of “slipping” and using the “N-Word” to describe the Lakers. Alerted to the mounting controversy, Morris insisted that she simply misspoke and, in her mind, was mixing up two teams — the Lakers and the New York Knicks — and it came out “Nakers.”

Morris added that she in no way meant to allude to the “N-Word,” but she apologized for the “confusion.”

“Earlier today,” Morris tweeted, “while reporting on the tragic news of Kobe Bryant’s passing, I, unfortunately, stuttered on-air, combining the names of the Knicks and the Lakers to say ‘Nakers.’ Please know I did not & would NEVER use a racist term. I apologize for the confusion this caused.”

Despite the explanation, a Change.org petition demanding that the network fire her has already gained steam and garnered nearly 19,500 signatures. “What she said was not Accident but on PURPOSE because she paused before she said Los Angeles Ni*****,” the petition asserts.

Her explanation did not satisfy many on social media, either:

Morris only recently joined NBC News Now, transferring from Fox News to NBC in July of last year.

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