Sharpton Doesn't Object To Imus' Return

Don Imus, seen here as a guest on Rev. Al Sharpton's radio show, in New York on April 9, 2007. The interchange between the two men was not warm and Sharpton called for Imus to be fired. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
The Rev. Al Sharpton has said he wouldn't object if dismissed DJ Don Imus returned to radio. But now that it looks as though Imus might be close to a comeback, the civil rights activist has some advice for the man he campaigned to get fired.

If Imus returns to the airwaves after his dismissal for making a racist and sexist remark about the Rutgers women's basketball team, he should commit in his contract to forgo any racist, sexist or homophobic comments, Sharpton wrote in a guest column listing "musts for Imus" Sunday in The Daily News.

He also called on Imus to set aside time weekly to talk on-air with an ombudsman, settle a lawsuit filed by a member of the Rutgers team, and join his push to rid rap and other music lyrics of racist and misogynist language.

Photos: Don Imus
"If and when Imus gets back in the broadcasting booth, each of us will have to judge for ourselves whether his apologies were an attempt to keep his job or whether he sincerely wanted to uphold standards that would respect all people," wrote Sharpton, who said last month he wouldn't oppose Imus' potential return, under the right conditions.

Imus' lawyer, Martin Garbus, did not immediately return telephone messages left at his office and an after-hours number early Sunday.

Imus and his former employer, CBS Radio, agreed to a settlement Tuesday that pre-empted his threatened $120 million breach-of-contract lawsuit. The terms of the settlement weren't disclosed.

The announcement essentially made Imus a free agent, and broadcast industry experts predicted he would soon be back on the air, though it wasn't clear exactly where he might land on the dial. His former morning time slot on CBS-owned WFAN-AM has gone to former National Football League quarterback Boomer Esiason and New Jersey radio personality Craig Carton.

As Imus' settlement with CBS was announced, Rutgers basketball player Kia Vaughn sued Imus, CBS and others, claiming the offensive comments damaged her reputation.

A spokeswoman for CBS Radio didn't immediately respond to an e-mail message early Sunday seeking comment on Sharpton's column.