Tennessee sheriff plans apology after admitting he used the n-word in a recording

Despite his use of the racist slur, Steve Sanders said he isn't a racist, and the word, 'just slipped out.'

Sheriff Steve Sanders (Photo: Fox 13 Memphis)

Lauderdale County, Tenn., Sheriff Steve Sanders has admitted to using the n-word after a tape recording of him using the racist slur surfaced when a local recording artist played the tape during an Instagram live session.

“I did. I won’t tell you no lie about it,” Sanders told News Channel 3 Memphis on Wednesday. Despite his use of the n-word, Sanders said he isn’t a racist, and the word, “just slipped out.”

The sheriff also said he doesn’t remember when the conversation took place and that he was unaware he was being recorded.

READ MORE: Memphis woman’s violent police arrest draws outrage

“I got a lot of Black friends, I got a lot of enemies, as any sheriff would, but I apologize to all of them,” Sanders said in the interview. “I’m going to apologize Friday to all the citizens in the county because they’re good people.”

Sanders has been sheriff of Lauderdale County for 16 years, and is the area’s longest-tenured sheriff.

The audio was also posted on Facebook and has prompted some citizens to demand his resignation. One Lauderdale Country resident, Tiffany Driver, told New Channel 3 Memphis that it was “heartbreaking” and “a slap in the face” after the country is still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

White people using the n-word is a phenomenon that continues to make headlines. On Thursday, Oregon State freshman tight end Rocco Carley was dismissed from his football team after an audio recording where he used racist language recently surfaced.

READ MORE: Oregon State athlete uses n-word, calls Black people ‘field workers’ in rant

The recording was made when Carley was in high school. In the video, which was posted to Twitter, the freshman football player can be heard saying horrific, racist statements against Blacks, homosexuals, and Muslims.

“I’d like to get all the Blacks in a chamber, and burn the sh*t out of them,” Carley says.

In the video, Carley sounds as if he is using a southern accent. In an apology post on Instagram, he said that the video was “satire.”