Common Issues Apology to Duke Lacrosse Players
Common has publicly apologized to the members of the Duke University lacrosse team that were accused of raping a Black exotic dancer at a party. A small controversy recently arose when it was announced that Com would be performing at the school’s annual Last Day of Classes celebration. In April of 2006 during a performance at Emory University, he denounced the predominantly white lacrosse team members who were accused of the crime. According to witnesses and a videotape of the performance, Common rapped, “You know I never get lost, yo, fuck them damn niggas from Duke lacrosse.” The rape charges against the three young men were recently dropped, and the North Carolina Bar Association has hit prosecutor Michael Nifong with charges of professional misconduct. "I want to say first of all that I apologize for accusing people wrong that didn't do it," the Chi-town MC recently told the Raleigh News & Observer. "I just first want to say that when I heard about the rape of a woman, a Black woman, I got emotional about it. I just felt like, 'That's my sister,' so I felt emotional about it and I guess I did what a lot of people do to other people, to convict them or consider them guilty before we even know the truth.” Beth Higgins, a senior at Duke and the Chair of the LDOC event, believes the rapper is being sincere. "He's human," Higgins told Duke’s The Chronicle. "He made a mistake, and he acknowledged that, and I feel like students should accept that." Other students were not as forgiving. "He just kind of jumped on the bandwagon in condemning these guys,” said sophomore Jon Martin. "It's always appropriate to apologize, but I think it's pretty obvious this was a PR move."