April 11, 2007 -- Aside from public condemnation, there are new signs of trouble for talk show host Don Imus -- dollar signs.
Two major advertisers -- Proctor and Gamble and Staples -- said they will pull their ads from his show, which will be suspended by CBS Radio and MSNBC for two weeks starting Monday. Bigelow Tea said it may do the same, and more companies are reportedly considering pulling ads.
At a press conference Tuesday, the women of the Rutgers University basketball team said that they're willing to meet with the talk show host who called them "nappy-headed hos," but they haven't yet forgiven him for his now ubiquitous and infamous comment.
"I would like to speak to him personally and express how I feel face to face and ask him: After you've met me personally do you still feel that I'm a 'ho?'" said team member Kia Vaughn.
The Rutgers team has an average GPA of 3.0 and includes a science prodigy, a valedictorian and Essence Carson, who plays four musical instruments.
"The positive out of this will be standing up not only for African-American women, but women in general," Carson said.
Much Anticipated Meeting Will Be Secret
On his radio show Wednesday, Imus praised the eloquence of the basketball team members. He said he's grateful that they're willing to meet with them and again expressed regret about his comment.
"It was not with malice in my heart, and I'm going to explain to these young women, so they know who I am, and then I want to know who they are," he said.
The team members and coach Vivian Stringer said that after their meeting with Imus -- which will be held at a secret location and time -- they will make up their minds about whether they accept his apology, and whether they think he should keep his job.
"I'm not calling for his head at all -- yet -- until after I've had a chance to listen to him," Stinger said.
Carson said she's hoping to find out if Imus' off-air personality differs from his controversial talk show attitude.
"We're hoping to have a personal apology," said Carson. "We're also hoping to get a chance to hear what Mr. Imus is about behind the radio personality… We just hope to get something accomplished … and hopefully it will be a major step."