We all knew it was coming. The plans for Imus to go back on the radio have been in the works for a while. Rumors about negotiations with WABC, we knew, we more likely truer than not.
And so it will be that Don Imus will return to the airwaves on December 3. Coach Stringer says she knew Imus would work again but she's still angry at the comments, though she reiterates that she has forgiven him. She also seems to think this experience has humbled him and that he will emerge a changed man when he shows up for work in a month.
Does she really believe that or is it just what she says to the press? I hope the latter because I really think Stringer is smarter than that. Imus had his already slightly sketchy reputation tarnished a little more. He did not have his consciousness raised.
And speaking of the Imus situation. It has been a hot topic here in Pittsburgh where the annual North American Society for the Sociology of Sport conference is being held. [The conference is also the reason for my lack of posts the past few days.] I heard a paper yesterday about how the controversy was constructed by the media. It was very good. The authors looked at 99 articles from major newspapers. There were many interesting findings including the framing of the controversy as an issue of racism with less acknowledgment of the sexism (and the authors didn't even talk about the homophobia in there as well which was slightly disappointing). This was evident in the people quoted in the articles. Less than 5 of the articles spoke to leaders in the feminist community versus far more that quoted black leaders, primarily Al Sharpton and, less often, Jesse Jackson.
In light of the this, and my own work on intersectional discrimination in sport, I was pleased to see the ESPN.com article about Stringer's reaction to Imus's return refer to the comments as both sexist and racist. Now if only people would talk about the homophobia inherent in them as well.