ABC News' Teddy Davis Reports: Former Rep. Harold Ford, Jr., D-Tenn., a fixture on Don Imus' program over the years, finally weighs in on the controversy involving the radio talk show host. Ford's statement, which was issued Thursday afternoon by the centrist Democratic Leadership Council which Ford has chaired since losing a Tennessee Senate race in 2006, comes after declining to comment for several days.
"I don't want to be viewed as piling on right now because Don Imus is a good friend and a decent man," Ford says in the statement. "However, he did a reprehensible thing. His comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team were hurtful and wrong. Moreover, the comments robbed these young women of an important time to celebrate a magnificent and positive moment in their lives."
"I am a big believer in redemption," Ford continues, "and I understand that Don has done many good deeds in his life. Yet, no amount of philanthropy gives anyone the license to offend innocent people - particularly when it comes to matters of race and gender. So I'm going to follow the lead of those brilliant and gracious women of the Rutgers basketball team and wait and see how the next two weeks unfold. I certainly hope Don can come to understand better the pain he has caused these young women and their families, and I will leave it to others to decide how his future in media should play out."