A black San Francisco TV reporter apologized Tuesday after making what some said were racially insensitive comments on-air about Sean “Diddy” Combs, the rap mogul who has expressed interest in buying the Carolina Panthers.
Henry Wofford, a sports reporter for the Bay Area TV station KRON4, questioned if Combs was sober in an Instagram video where he discussed his desire to purchase the team.
“How can you take Diddy seriously? The guy looks high right there in that video,” Wofford said Monday during a phone interview. “He looks like he just smoked a blunt and drank a 40.”
The rap mogul took to Instagram on Sunday to express his interest in buying the team, after it was announced it would be up for sale after the season ends.
“I will have the best halftime show, the best selection of music, and we will win Super Bowl after Super Bowl,” Combs said in the video. He also promised to sign former quarterback Colin Kaepernick to the team.
On Monday, Wofford’s comments were condemned on social media by people who thought he was playing on racial stereotypes.
“...white people still talk about (Combs) like he’s a hoodrat, not a multimillionaire business man,” one Twitter user wrote in a tweet that has been shared more than 40,000 times.
Wofford, who is black, appeared to delete his Twitter account after the backlash. On Tuesday he said his comments weren’t intended to offend anyone.
“Although it was said in an attempt to be funny, I realize insinuating a person may be drunk or on drugs is nothing to joke about,” Wofford said on the air. “For that I sincerely apologize to Mr. Combs, his fans and everyone who was offended.”
Darya Folsom, the anchor who was speaking to Wofford during the initial phone interview, also apologized for how she handled the situation.
“I am sorry for the impression that I made, and I hope that you will accept all of our apologies,” she told viewers.
LaVendrick Smith: @LaVendrickS