Post columnist’s use of N-word draws ire of New Yorkers
Lashes into Jay-Z and renaming of Nets
By Larry Mcshane / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
A NEW YORK Post columnist’s suggestion that the Brooklyn Nets change their name to the “New York N------” prompted angry calls Friday for an apology — or his job.
Phil Mushnick, who launched his TV/radio column in 1982, criticized Nets part-owner Jay-Z in language that the platinum-selling hip-hop icon uses in his music.
But the piece in Friday’s paper, with its casual use of the N-word and other images, sounded a sour note with many infuriated critics.
“This Clown is a Racist Bigot, this type of animosity is ridiculous and he should be fired,” blasted Nets guard Anthony Morrow via Twitter.
The team, in a statement issued from its new Brooklyn digs, ripped Mushnick as well.
“We find the story offensive and inappropriate, and it doesn’t deserve further comment,” the Nets said.
Mushnick, in his piece, suggested the relocated NBA squad “apply the full Jay-Z treatment” to marketing its new home.
“Why the Brooklyn Nets when they can be the New York N------?” he wrote. “The cheerleaders could be the Brooklyn B------ or Ho’s. Team logo? A 9-mm. with hollow-tip shell casings strewn beneath.”
The mix of urban stereotypes and the racial epithet led many to conclude that Mushnick crossed a line with the column.
“Just curious if this Mushnick character would say the same if Francis Ford Coppola owned part of a team,” tweeted ESPN “Around the Horn” regular Bomani Jones.
Former Post reporter Paula Froelich, via Twitter, referenced a previous racial furor at the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid: “Sigh. Monkey cartoon, anyone?”
The Post issued an editorial page apology in February 2009 over a cartoon that critics felt equated President Obama with a chimp.
Mushnick, in a statement issued by The Post, offered no apologies.
“I plan to continue to argue against the negative racial and ethnic stereotyping and the promotion of mindless violence, especially to the young and most vulnerable,” he said.
An earlier email to the website Bob’s Blitz was more pointed: “Jay-Z profits from the worst and most sustaining self-enslaving stereotypes of black-American culture and I’M the racist?”
Twitter exploded with noxious attacks on Mushnick, including a shot from Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
“You owe New Yorkers an apology,” said de Blasio (D-Brooklyn). “Racist vitriol has no place in the world’s most diverse city.”