Imus was eventually fired from his gigs as both a radio and television host last April after referring disparagingly to African-American members of the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos." Barack Obama was the first presidential candidate to speak out on the Imus matter, calling for his dismissal while NBC was still deliberating on the matter. Obama told ABC News:
"You know, I spoke out against Don Imus, saying that hate speech was unacceptable in any setting, and I believe that. I just think you have to speak out against that. You certainly have to do that, if not explicitly, then implicitly by getting up and moving."
"I understand MSNBC has suspended Mr. Imus, but I would also say that there's nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude."