28/01/2020 7:24 AM AEDT

MSNBC Anchor Denies Saying Slur During Kobe Bryant Clip

"Please know I did not & would NEVER use a racist term," Alison Morris said in a tweet after the report bubbled up.

MSNBC anchor Alison Morris denied saying a slur when broadcasting the news of basketball legend Kobe Bryant’s shocking death on Sunday. 

The former Los Angeles Laker died in a private helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was among those confirmed dead. 

Morris was talking about Bryant’s death when some thought they heard her say “n****rs” in a now-viral clip. 

Shortly after, a petition called for Morris to be fired.

She denied using the slur in a tweet Sunday evening.

“Earlier today, while reporting on the tragic news of Kobe Bryant’s passing, I unfortunately stuttered on air, combining the names of the Knicks and the Lakers to say “Nakers,’” Morris tweeted.

“Please know I did not & would NEVER use a racist term. I apologize for the confusion this caused,” she continued. 

As news of Bryant’s death spread around the world, countless tributes from friends, fans, former coaches and former teammates poured in. 

Shaquille O’Neal, who won three championships with Bryant, said that he felt “sick” over the loss of of his friend. 

“There’s no words to express the pain I’m going through now with this tragic and sad moment of loosing my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie,” O’Neal wrote in a tweet. “I love you brother and you will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW !” 

Basketball legend Michael Jordan said that he was in “shock” over the death of his “little brother,” while former teammate Pau Gasol said the he was “Beyond devastated” over his “big brother.

“I can’t, I just can’t believe it,” Gasol added.