BALTIMORE, MD (December 28, 2017) - The NAACP issued the
following statement regarding KRON-TV anchor Henry Wofford's use of racist
stereotypes to insult and belittle Sean "Diddy" Combs' interest in
purchasing the Carolina Panthers NFL team.
"Wofford's comments were an insult not only to Mr. Combs
but to all men of color who despite high levels of achievement and
accomplishment are marginalized according to ugly racist stereotypes of Black
men and are utterly unacceptable," said Derrick Johnson, NAACP president
and CEO. "A late apology does little to negate Mr. Wofford's harmful
words- and his co-anchor Darya Folsom's supportive laughter - or address
environments where this type of stereotyping is acceptable.
"The NFL faces a severe racial divide between players and
executives that has contributed to a culture of intolerance towards racial
justice priorities and where the protesting of police brutality draws scorn
rather than support. Rather than mock, we should all promote individuals like
Mr. Combs who seeks to push the NFL away from a plantation mentality and open
its ownership ranks up to diversity."
"According to University of Central Florida professor Richard
Lapchick's 2017 "Racial and Gender Report Card" for the NFL, Black
players make up roughly 68 percent of NFL teams, but there are zero Black
owners or presidents across the league. The racial divide applies to other
positions of power as well: the vast majority of head coaches, assistant
coaches, general managers, vice presidents, and game officials are white as
"Wofford's comments also distressingly echo intolerant
statements made in October by NFL team owners, Jerry Jones and Bob McNair. Mr.
Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, made tone-deaf, misguided comments
threatening to bench any players on his team who chose not to stand for the
national anthem. Two weeks later, during a landmark meeting between players and
owners, Houston Texans owner McNair was quoted as saying, "We can't have
the inmates running the prison." McNair's nasty remarks were made utterly
without regard to the problematic nature of his "owner" title or the
criminal justice concerns fueling players' protests.
"The NAACP refuses to accept NFL executives or TV
personalities using their platforms to fuel and promote racist