Geraldo Rivera Apologizes For Offending With Trayvon Martin Hoodie Comment, Stands by Message

Geraldo Rivera - P 2012
Donna Ward/Getty Images

Geraldo Rivera - P 2012

The TV host wrote in an email that he regretted obscuring the death of the Florida teenager, but still believes young minorities should not dress "gangsta" style.

Geraldo Rivera has offered an apology for the offense caused by his comments about the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, but does not disown the message he intended on delivering during his appearance on Fox News last week.

Appearing on Fox and Friends last Wednesday, Rivera said that, while he believes that Martin's shooter, George Zimmerman, should be arrested, he felt that Martin made himself a target by wearing a hooded sweatshirt and appearing "gangsta." After nearly a week of national outcry that has made the hoodie a national symbol of Martin's death, Geraldo wrote a letter to Politico to clear the air.

“I apologize to anyone offended by what one prominent black conservative called my ‘very practical and potentially life-saving campaign urging black and Hispanic parents not to let their children go around wearing hoodies,’” Rivera wrote in the letter. “[M]y own family and friends believe [that] I have obscured or diverted attention from the principal fact, which is that an unarmed 17-yearold was shot dead by a man who was never seriously investigated by local police. And if that is true, I apologize.”

Still, he is not ending his anti-hoodie crusade.

“I remain absolutely convinced of what I said about asking for trouble," he continued. "There’s trouble enough for minority boys and young men not to provoke mad responses from paranoid jerk offs."

Following Rivera's remarks, which were castigated and mocked on Twitter by celebrities such as Spike Lee, Questlove and Aziz Ansari, the Miami Heat basketball team, along with many other basketball players and non-celebrities alike, took photos of themselves wearing hoodies and posted them to Twitter. He's been mocked by various TV hosts and journalists, as well.