In the wide-ranging interview, Strahan asks Morgan to take him back to that night and what he was thinking.
“I had some of my long-time friends in town and we had kinda just been partying all weekend and we figured we’d just go hard while they were there…
I was around some of my friends and we say dumb stuff together. In our minds it’s playful. That sounds ignorant, but that’s really where it came from and it’s wrong.”
Asked if he “frequently” used the word and in what way the word was used, Morgan said that he didn’t use the word “frequently” and that he didn’t mean it in a derogatory manner.
Morgan also said that since the incident, he’s heard from black people about how the word makes them feel:
“I heard some stories in the initial conversations that I had after that just how some people are treated even still, today. And I’m just like, I haven’t seen that with my eyes, that pain or that insignificant feeling or whatever it is that it makes you feel.”
.@michaelstrahan: “I’ve been called it…do you understand why it makes Black people so upset?”
And he said he understands how ignorant it sounds to say that he was just using the word “playfully.”
“I don’t know how to put myself in their shoes because I’m not, you know. But I do understand especially when I say I’m using it playfully or whatever, ignorantly, I understand that that must sound like ‘He doesn’t understand.'”
Wallen said that following the incident, he spoke with black advocacy groups and others in the industry such as the Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC), an advocacy organization formed to address systemic racism within the music business, as well as 300 Entertainment founder Kevin Liles, UMG executive vice president and chief people and inclusion officer Eric Hutcherson, and gospel legend Bebe Winans.
Morgan also revealed for the first time that after the incident (as well as several other high-profile alcohol-fueled incidents in the months before), he checked himself into rehab.
“I went and checked myself into rehab. And for 30 days I spent some time out in San Diego, California. Just trying to figure it out, why am I acting this way? Do I have an alcohol problem? Do I have a deeper issue?”
After the incident, sales of Morgan’s Dangerous: The Double Album spiked, sending the album to the top of the Billboard 200 charts for an astounding 10-week run. And Morgan says that he donated the profits from that spike to several organizations, including BMAC:
“Before this incident my album was already doing well. It was already being well-received by critics and by fans. Me and my team noticed that whenever this whole incident happened that there was a spike in my sales. So we tried to calculate what the number of, how much it actually spiked from this incident.
We got to a number somewhere around $500,000, and we decided to donate that money to some organizations, BMAC being the first one.”
Dangerous is still sitting at the top of the Billboard Country Albums chart, its 24th week at number one so far.