April 13, 2007 — -- With Don Imus kicked off the airwaves, his wife, Deirdre Coleman Imus, has stepped in to speak for her husband.
On CBS Radio this morning, Deirdre continued the charity drive her husband had started Thursday and revealed that she and Don had met with the Rutgers women's basketball team Thursday night.
"We met for several hours, and that was the most important thing to meet with young, beautiful women and their coach and head of Rutgers University and athletic director," she said. "And they gave us an opportunity to listen to what they had to say and how they're hurting and how awful this is, and these women are unbelievably courageous and beautiful."
She added that no one should heckle the team members, and that all hate mail should be directed to her husband.
"I want to say the hate mail being sent to them must stop," Deirdre said. "If any one has hate mail, send it to my husband. … You're doing the wrong thing here."
C. Vivian Stringer, the head coach of the Rutgers women's basketball team, did not say whether the team had forgiven Don for his remarks.
Don has not spoken publicly since the meeting. After nearly 30 years, his radio show came to an end Thursday, the result of his calling the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos" last week.
In a statement, CBS President Les Moonves said he had pulled the plug on Don to try and stop the spread of degrading language.
"There has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society," he said.
From presidential candidates to religious leaders to the women of the Rutgers basketball team, people all over the country weighed in on what should happen to Don.
"You don't get too many opportunities to finally stand up for what you know is right," said Rutgers player Essence Carson. "I know we're at a young age, but we definitely understand what is right and what should be done."
The Rev. Al Sharpton and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., had called for Don's firing, with Sharpton leading a protest in front of CBS Radio's New York headquarters Thursday.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., felt otherwise, asserting Don's on-air apology for his comment had been enough.
"He has apologized," McCain said. "He's said that he's deeply sorry. I'm a great believer in redemption."
Don's longtime nemesis, fellow radio shock jock Howard Stern, chimed in, saying Imus was caving.
"If there is a blacken core to a human being, it is Imus," Stern said.
Conservative radio host Larry Elder speculated that Don would return to radio eventually.
"These b--ds went after me," Don said on the last day of his radio show Thursday. "They got me, but they didn't catch me asleep."