The devastating helicopter crash that claimed the life of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi and seven others Sunday morning caused a media blitz. One of the many reporters covering the breaking news has stirred controversy for appearing to use a racial slur in reference to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant, 41, was an 18-time NBA All-Star who spent his 20-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers. Sunday morning, he died on his helicopter headed to a game for his daughter in Thousand Oaks, California.
Others who perished in the crash include John Altobelli, 56, baseball coach at Orange Coast College and his wife Keri Altobelli; Alyssa Altobelli, the Altobellis’ daughter and one of Gianna's basketball teammates; Christina Mauser, basketball coach at Harbor Day School, Gigi Bryant’s school; Payton Chester, a middle school student; Sarah Chester, Payton Chester’s mother; and Ara Zobayan, pilot.
In the midst of the tributes and expressions of shock expressed online Sunday, several folks took note of a breaking newscast involving MSNBC anchor Alison Morris. While speaking on the loss of the NBA legend, Morris had a language slip. The term used is a bit unclear, but many online said she used the term “Los Angeles [n-word].”
“It seems like he was just the kind of athlete, the kind of star that was perfectly cast on the Los Angeles [inaudible], Los Angeles Lakers,” Morris said during a newscast.
Shortly after the afternoon newscast, competing points of views on what Morris said while stammering during the newscast hit social media. Morris quickly responded to the criticism and calls for her firing. She told her 11, 500 followers on Twitter that her unfortunate slip was the term “Nakers,” a combination of the teams Knicks and Lakers. She apologized, and she adamantly denied using the n-word, saying she would “NEVER use a racist term.”
Some validated Morris’ apology and agreed she did not use a racial slur.
Comedian Wanda Sykes spoke up Monday to defend Morris, stating she could see how the news anchor could’ve flubbed the term “Lakers.”
Another user blamed the cancel culture, the tendency for social media users to cast away celebrities for public mistakes, for the confusion Sunday.
By and large, Twitter users seemed to share the sentiment that Morris’ verbal slip led to her using the slur, even if inadvertently.
MSNBC has not released a statement on the matter.
The cause of the helicopter crash is under investigation, but some have speculated that foggy weather might’ve caused visibility issues.
More on Kobe Bryant’s passing:
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