VERSAILLES, Ky. — Taken to the "woodshed" by Kentucky's governor, former Gov. A. B. (Happy) Chandler today released a statement apologizing for a racial remark he made at a University of Kentucky Board of Trustees meeting.
Chandler said Gov. Wallace Wilkinson, who appointed him to a voting position on the UK board earlier this year, called him today and "took me to the woodshed" for the remark.
Wilkinson suggested that he apologize but did not request that he resign from the board, Chandler said. "If he did, I'd resign," Chandler said.
Chandler, 89, used the racial epithet Tuesday during a committee's discussion of the university's 1985 decision to dispose of its investments in South Africa.
"You know Zimbabwe's all nigger now. There aren't any whites," he said. About seven of the 20 board members were present.
Chandler said today at a news conference at his home here he stands on his record of helping blacks and other minorities throughout his lifetime of public service as governor, U.S. senator and commissioner of baseball.
"I didn't intend to be offensive to anybody," said Chandler.
In an interview Wednesday with the Lexington Herald-Leader, Chandler said students who protested the racial slur were "trying to make a mountain out of a molehill."
"I don't think I should be censured for this," Chandler told the newspaper then. "I don't think I deserve any harsh treatment."