MSNBC Anchor Denies Using N-Word During Kobe Bryant Report: ‘I Unfortunately Stuttered’

Alison Morris says she would “NEVER” use such a word

Kobe Bryant

MSNBC anchor Alison Morris responded to a viral video on Sunday, trying to explain a vocal flub during a report on the death of former NBA star Kobe Bryant that many on social media took to be the N-word.

Not long after the news of Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash broke, Morris told MSNBC viewers that Bryant was “perfectly cast” on the Los Angeles Lakers, except she stumbled over the name of the team. Many believe Morris uttered the N-word but she said that is simply not the case.

“Earlier today, while reporting on the tragic news of Kobe Bryant’s passing, I unfortunately stuttered on air, combining the names of the Knicks and the Lakers to say ‘Nakers,’” Morris tweeted later on Sunday. “Please know I did not & would NEVER use a racist term. I apologize for the confusion this caused.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said nine people died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., that killed the former Lakers star and eight others. Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna was reportedly one of the people on board.

During his 20-year career with the Lakers, Bryant won five NBA championships. Two years ago, he shared an Oscar with animator Glen Keane for the animated short “Dear Basketball.”

An investigation into the crash is still ongoing.