Russell Simmons Slams Geraldo Rivera's Apology in Trayvon Martin Controversy

Russell Simmons Extra Guest Host - P 2012
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Extra

Russell Simmons Extra Guest Host - P 2012

Russell Simmons and Geraldo Rivera might be longtime friends, but that didn't stop the music mogul from publicly blasting the TV host following his Trayvon Martin apology.

Rivera apologized on Tuesday for offending supporters of Martin with his remarks about the hoodie the unarmed 17-year-old wore when he was killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla., last month.

In a mea culpa that didn't quite back down from Rivera's anti-hoodie message, he conceded: "I have obscured the main point that someone shot and killed an unarmed teenager, and I began today's program with a sincere and heartfelt apology to anyone I may have offended by my crusade to warn minority families of the danger to their young sons inherent in gangsta style clothing; like hoodies."

That didn't sit well with Simmons, who responded in a blistering post on the website Global Grind.

"Geraldo, your apology is bull---! Your apology is nothing but a defense of a racist, backward thing you already said," said Simmons, calling Rivera "my friend for many years." "And I am a yogi, and I generally don't speak like this, but I have to say it like it is. It is a non-apology apology that continues to blame the victim for their appearance."

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Rivera drew outrage after declaring on Fox News last week that Martin had made himself a target by wearing a hooded sweatshirt and appearing "gangsta." His comments spurred celebrities such as Aziz Ansari, Spike Lee, Questlove and the Miami Heat basketball team to take photos of themselves wearing hoodies and post them on Twitter.
"A lot of the prominent Fox contributors of color make people comfortable with their insensitive attitudes; don't be one of them," Simmons said. "You're always playing your stripes of having been an activist, which has inspired me throughout the years, don't now try to play to cheap seats. It's like telling women not to wear skirts because they could get raped. That's what you just did. It's freaking horrible. It's inexcusable. And you're my friend, my friend for many years. I have a great amount of respect for you, but zero respect for your apology and for what you said."