MSNBC reporter Alison Morris has denied using a racial slur while reporting on the tragic death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
Morris stumbled over her words while referring to Bryant’s former team, the Los Angeles Lakers.
During a segment on the basketball hero’s death, Morris was heard to say: “He was just the kind of athlete that was perfectly cast on the Los Angeles ‘Nakers.'”
Her stumble led many to immediately wonder if she’d used the ‘n-word’ racial slur.
She very quickly corrected herself, saying, “Los Angeles Lakers,” and carried on with the segment.
In a statement, Morris said she “unfortunately stuttered on air, combining the names of the Knicks and the Lakers to say ‘Nakers.'”
She continued: “Please know I did not & would NEVER use a racist term. I apologize for the confusion this caused.” MSNBC has retweeted her statement.
Earlier today, 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.
— Alison Morris (@AlisonMorrisNOW) January 26, 2020
People demand Alison Morris is fired
Many folk on Twitter were furious with the reporter’s misspoken words, and many demanded her resignation.
Y’all her name is Alison Morris y’all gotta get her FIRED
— DuffleBag Gal? (@CheckMe_Nike) January 26, 2020
Some people thought this would definitely be the end of her career.
Alison Morris – Hired on July 1st, 2019. Career end – January 26, 2020.
— Patrick To (@pto130) January 26, 2020
And some people on Twitter found her explanation a little hard to believe.
Alison Morris: I said Nakers
My Face: pic.twitter.com/Gv0Soy5Zet
— The Bomberdear Gaming (@TheBomberdear) January 26, 2020
A petition has been set up on Change.org by Alizah Parks to get the reporter fired. Parks wrote, “We need to join together to get her fired because Enough is Enough & we will not tolerate this Racist BS anymore!”
At the time of writing, the petition has 15,195 signatures with a target of 25,000.
She did have some supporters online; however, with some arguing, the reporter had just stumbled over her words.
I believe her…it did sound like 'niggers' but cmon…no announcer in her right mind would say such a thing on purpose! I think we need to go back to the old idea of giving folks the benefit of the doubt. And frankly we all need it from time to time.
— Derek McGinty (@mcgintyman) January 27, 2020
Alison Morris did not use the n-word. I don’t need to defend her; I just wanted to say that. Y’all seem in a hurry to perform your pride for Blackness and it is weird. What you all are claiming happened even SOUNDS like an error. Listen to the context.
— KT (@TheKorTurn) January 27, 2020
The 39-year-old reporter has been with MSNBC since July of last year. She has the anchor role on MSNBC in the 2 pm to 4 pm ET Sunday slot and during the week is based at New York City for NBC News Now. She previously worked as a business reporter and anchor at Fox 5 in New York.
Tragic death of Kobe Bryant
Basketball legend Kobe Bryant was tragically killed along with his daughter 13-year-old daughter Gianna last night when his private helicopter crashed in the Calabasas area of California. Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, was not on board. There were allegedly nine people on board, and there were no survivors.
Tributes poured in from other sporting legends such as Vince Carter and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It’s been reported that many of the current Laker’s stars have taken the news very badly, with many breaking down in tears.