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A news anchor for MSNBC apologized after she mispronounced the L.A. Lakers team as "Los Angeles ni**ers" while covering the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, 41, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others.

The helicopter went down in extreme fog conditions near Thousand Oaks, California on Sunday morning. A flight scan shows the Sikorsky S-76b chopper dropped 4,000 feet per minute before hitting the ground in the hills above Calabasas.

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Screenshot: MSNBC

Allison Morris, who anchored MSNBC's coverage of the tragedy, apparently suffered a slip of the tongue while pronouncing Bryant's former team.

Morris said Bryant was "perfectly cast on the Los Angeles ni**ers, er Lakers."

Social media erupted with allegations that Morris is a covert racist who is comfortable using the racial slur - and that she accidentally uttered it during a Freudian moment.

A Freudian slip is a verbal mistake that is linked to an unconscious thought. A Freudian slip usually occurs when the speaker is thinking what she said.

As the furor raged on Twitter.com, Morris tweeted an apology, denying she uttered the N-word.

"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'. Please know I did not & would NEVER use a racist term. I apologize for the confusion this caused."

But Black Twitter was not convinced that Morris has never uttered the racial slur behind closed doors.

A petition calling for Morris to be fired from MSNBC garnered more than 700 signatures.

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