Michael Wilbon Uses The N-word on National TV

    February 26, 2014
    Ann Casano
    Comments are off for this post.

Michael Wilbon, a co-host of EPSN’s Pardon The Interruption, is trending on the internet today for his use of the N-word on national television. Wilbon, who is African American, spoke out against a proposed rule the NFL is considering that would penalize a player 15-yards if they use the N-word on the field. While Wilbon thinks that the word should be out of the game, penalizing a player for its use would be controversial in his opinion, especially considering that there are currently no black team owners and the league is run by a white commissioner.

In response to co-host Tony Kornheiser’s comment that the N-word has been such a defamatory word in a historic context and understands why the NFL would want to try and get rid of it, Wilbon stated, “It’s defaming in the context in which you saw it [in historical movies]. It is not defaming in the context in which I and many others use it every day. Not music and art; just language, just talk. I’m not a child of hip-hop; I use it every day with somebody else who uses it. And I understand people who don’t want to use it, I respect that. This is difficult, this is complicated.”

Wilbon went a step further on ESPN’s program Outside The Lines when he used the N-word on purpose to make a point. The co-host admitted to using the word with friends, even calling its use endearing.

This isn’t the first discussion that Wilbon has had about the N-word. During an episode of Pardon The Interruption from November of 2013, Wilbon and Kornheiser were discussing LA Clipper player Matt Barnes use of the word in a Tweet that sparked controversy. Wilbon wasn’t bothered by Barnes’ comments, “People can be upset with me if they want, I, like a whole lot of people, use the N-word all day, every day, my whole life and Matt Barnes is a person of color so if he wants to use it, I got no problem with that.”

Image via Wikimedia

  • thescoop1

    When it comes to the use of the n-word the African American community is a
    walking contradiction to understand why and how that is you are encouraged to
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  • Turner Page

    Wilborn is correct about the term having a historically different connotation in these divided States of America. Unfortunately, the empowered majority sought to delete the accomplishments and contributions made by the discriminated – that is, until Dr. Carter G. Woodson recognized the detriment of this injustice and created “Black History Week” in 1939.


    Come on Michael, I always thought you were the level headed one. Don’t let ESPN turn you into an attention whore like Stephen a. Smith or Skip Bayless.

    • bob

      you’re reppin’ Uncle Si and you’re talking about being level headed?

  • Eric

    Enough about the “N-word”. This is getting ridiculous

  • Matt Blake

    “You can only be destroyed by believing that you really are what the world calls a nigger.” – James Baldwin. Michael Wilbon is part of the downfall of the black community with the approval of using the n-word. Just go look at those who do use the word, then look at where they came from and how un-educated their parents were then. The “supposed” new meaning as an endearment is laughable. People who use racial epithets and swear words without just cause is and will always be looked down upon as being ignorant. Michael is just trying to be cool with the young crowd who is trying to make this new meaning a justified cause when it’s not. He should know better and I hope he gets reprimanded for using it on national tv. We can’t legislate the n-word on the field with penalties, but teams should penalize players who do use it via fines like the NBA does when such words are used on the court and in social media.

    • bob

      i’m pretty sure you can say the N-word on national tv, especially cable