WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the highest-ranking black woman in government history, said Friday the racist, sexist comments that got radio shock jock Don Imus fired were "disgusting."
In her first public remarks on the controversy, Rice said Imus had insulted not only female athletes but all young black women by referring to the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy headed hos."
"They're 18- and 19-year-old women," she said. "And what were they doing except showing that they're really fine athletes, playing under extraordinary pressure in which for them was a dream season.
"And it gets ruined by this disgusting — and I'll use the word 'disgusting' — comment which doesn't belong in any polite company and certainly doesn't belong on any radio station that I would listen to," Rice told talk show host Michael Medved.
"I just thought that it was an attack on women's sports, first of all, and secondly an attack on very accomplished young black women in a way that was really offensive," she said, according to a transcript of the interview released by the State Department.
Rice declined to offer an opinion on Imus's firing but said she was "very glad that there was, in fact, a consequence" for the remarks.
Imus was fired by CBS radio on Thursday as the controversy over his remarks last week grew and advertisers began to pull support for his show, "Imus in the Morning," which regularly featured Washington insiders.
Rice, according to her spokesman Sean McCormack, never appeared on the program.