On “Fox and Friends” Friday, Geraldo Rivera vowed to abandon his use of the word “thug,” explaining that he now believes it carries a racial connotation.

Geraldo will no longer use thug to describe excited, black athletes

Credit Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

“I called  (NFL Seattle Seahawks’) Richard Sherman a thug when he ranted about (the 49ers’) Michael Crabtree,” Rivera said. “He (Sherman) said the use of the word thug was the new N-word. I pondered that. I have come to agree with Richard Sherman, the Stanford grad. I will never use the word thug in that context again.”

Following Sherman’s infamous post-game screed, the cornerback said in a press conference that those in the media who called him a “thug” for his behavior were using the word as a substitute for the n-word.

As the liberal Media Matters points out, Rivera also drew controversy when he used the word “thug” to characterize the dress of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin. “You dress like a thug, people are going to treat you like a thug,” Rivera said last summer. “That’s true. I stand by that.”