Don Imus said Tuesday morning on his radio show that he was trying to "make a sarcastic point" with his latest on-air remarks about race, but that they had been misunderstood.
Imus resurrected his radio career six months ago with a pledge to mend the wounds caused by a racist and sexist comment he made about a women's basketball team.
On Tuesday he said he was following the spirit of that promise by calling attention to the unfair treatment of blacks _ in this case the arrests of suspended Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam Jones.
"What people should be outraged about is that they arrest blacks for no reason," Imus said Tuesday. "I mean, there's no reason to arrest this kid six times. Maybe he did something once, but everyone does something once."
He called the flurry of criticism surrounding the comments "ridiculous" and said that his program's cast is now more diverse than ever _ and includes a black producer and two black co-hosts, a man and a woman.
"How insane would I have to be? What would I be thinking?" Imus wondered aloud.
On his radio show Monday morning, Imus asked "What color is he?" after being told about Jones, who was suspended from the NFL in 2007 and has been arrested six times (listen here).
Jones, in an interview with the Dally Morning News, said he was "upset" by Imus' comments and that he would pray for the controversial radio host:
Jones was unaware of the comments until a reporter played him a tape Monday night.
"I'm truly upset about the comments," Jones said. "Obviously Mr. Imus has problems with African-Americans. I'm upset, and I hope the station he works for handles it accordingly. I will pray for him."
Late Monday, a station representative said it was unlikely Imus would face any disciplinary action for the comments:
WABC and Citadel Broadcasting Corp. Vice President Phil Boyce said Imus would explain his comments on his Tuesday morning show and said it was unlikely the broadcasters would take disciplinary action.
Boyce said Imus had explained himself in a private conversation Monday afternoon and the explanation was satisfactory.
"I think some people may be misunderstanding what he meant," Boyce said.
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