NABJ Condemns Columnist Phil Mushnick and New York Post Editors for Racially Insensitive Reference Against Jay-Z

WASHINGTON, DC (Source: NABJ.org) -- Known for its provocative headlines, the New York Post has botched another attempt to gain attention with journalism that lacks taste and class. The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) condemns sports columnist Phil Mushnick and Post editors for printing racially insensitive references regarding music mogul and New Jersey Nets minority owner Shawn "Jay-Z” Carter in a column yesterday.

"It does not surprise me that the writer and editors in question lack the journalistic chops to eloquently make a point about Jay-Z’s influence in the Nets franchise,” said NABJ President Gregory Lee, who also is senior assistant sports editor at the Boston Globe. "Mr. Mushnick’s crusade against the gang mentality in sports has taken a wrong turn in this piece of lazy journalism. This commentary does not follow the principles of our craft.”
NABJ Sports Task Force chair Marc J. Spears adds: "It’s embarrassing and unfortunate that the use of the n-word and other derogatory terms have been a staple in lyrics throughout the history of hip-hop. But two wrongs don’t make a right. I find it appalling that a newspaper would be comfortable allowing such a demeaning word in its publication and that its editors did not use better judgment in supervising a columnist with a disappointing and misguided mentality.”
In 2009, NABJ condemned the newspaper for depicting the nation’s first African American Commander in Chief as a dead chimpanzee.
"The language used in today's New York Post column, titled ‘Nets on Jay-Z track,’ was disgusting and completely out of line," New York Association of Black Journalists President Michael J. Feeney said. "Columnist Phil Mushnick and the editors who allowed his offensive language to be published should be ashamed of themselves. We demand an explanation and an apology from Mushnick and Post management, and we want to be assured this vile word will never appear in this publication again.”
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation, and provides educational, career development and support to black journalists worldwide.

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