(CNN) -- Michael Richards says he is "deeply, deeply sorry" for using racial epithets, including the "n word," after being heckled at a comedy club.
We asked CNN.com readers for their thoughts on Richards' outburst and apology. Here is a selection of your replies, which have been edited for length and clarity.
Christy Blackburn from San Antonio, Texas
Richards made it abundantly clear that he is extremely bigoted and his apology has no merit! He expects us to believe he "lost his temper," just as Mel Gibson expects us to believe "the booze made him say it." Racial slurs and hate-speech do not pour from the mouths of individuals who believe in the Brotherhood of Mankind, even when they are provoked or intoxicated!
Lucy Ziegenhorn from Stafford, Virginia
People need to remember he was provoked during his "act." How would these same people react if they were bothered in the same way while they're "working"? Michael was "working" while he was "heckled" by these same people that are now playing the victim card. Let's not forget most African-Americans, whether they're comedians or not, always refer to each other as [the "n word"] which is acceptable to them. Michael apologized already ... move on people.
Carice McKinney from Westerville, Ohio
He's a racist who not only uses the word frequently enough to have it roll off his tongue, but apparently has felt rather comfortable doing it. And, for the record? It doesn't matter who says the "n" word, it's not funny and is completely unacceptable coming from ANY RACE! I'm black and I refuse to use it, listen to music that vomits it out to a beat, or associate with people who choose to use it. It's not a term of endearment. It's not a word only the homies can use, and just because a black person says, it doesn't make it right. There should be no double standard to the word. Stop using it, period!
Brenda Lewis from San Antonio, Texas
I'm black and I wonder if a black comedian had behaved the same way would the reaction be the same? I think Mr. Richards was out of line. However, with all the really dangerous racism going on in this country, I really think the damage he might have done is minimal.
Kathleen Westlake from Victoria, British Columbia
Up until I saw this video, Michael was one of my favorite comedians. I thought he was brilliant in Seinfeld. Seeing the video of his behavior at the comedy club the other night turns my stomach. It's beyond disgusting. It insults all African-Americans, and it negates some of the recent advancements we've made in inter-racial relations over the last few decades. He has single-handedly left an ugly blotch on mankind in general, and certainly on stand-up comedy. As for his apology ... I call B.S. It's on par with Mel's apology. It's not fooling anyone. Say good-bye to your career, pal. You won't be missed.
Tanisha Washington from Los Angeles, California
He is a very sincere man who lost his temper. He is a great comedy person, and very talented. He is obviously not a bigot. He is forgiven for losing his temper. We love him!
Mark Howell from Round Rock, Texas
Apparently the ["n word"] is offensive to blacks only if it comes from a white person's mouth. Where's their outrage with all the blacks that call each other [that word].
James Hamilton from Riverside, California
Richards' comments were just as bad as those audience members calling Richards a "cracker." Did those people also apologize for their racist name-calling? Where is the outcry for racial comments against whites?
Nancy Plumer from Highland Village, Texas
If those words and feelings are not in your heart, they won't come out of your mouth, regardless of how much you've had to drink or how mad you become. Nothing in the Constitution condones or protects smallness of mind nor largeness of mouth.
Denise Gunner from Avon, Indiana
It is a shame Mr. Richards had to resort to name-calling to deal with his frustrations. Rather than focus on the differences in our skin colors, it would be more productive to focus on the fact that we are all part of the same race, the HUMAN RACE.
Devra Ryker from Bakersfield, California
I felt sad and embarrassed for Michael Richards after viewing the racial rant. The comments were wrong, no doubt, but the heckling in the audience reflects a degenerative and increasingly rude world that can try the patience of those who are often subjected to it. He had, I'm sure, been heckled before, and this time he snapped and chose the most hurtful and derogatory thing he could think of.
John White from Tulsa, Oklahoma
Comedian Paul Rodriguez said, "Once the word comes out of your mouth and you don't happen to be African-American, then you have a whole lot of explaining." Mr. Rodriguez: Please explain to me why it matters if you don't happen to be African-American? Do blacks have carte blanche to use that word freely while expecting everyone else to shun it? Using slurs is wrong regardless of the speaker or the target, and if something is wrong, then it's wrong for everyone. To claim that history provides some kind of exception or loophole just contributes to more frustration and resentment between races.
Alison Carnie from Chicago, Illinois
A mistake is having too much to drink and vomiting all over your cat. Losing your cool is snapping a pencil in half or screaming a naughty word at the top of one's lungs. What comes of out our mouths is who we are, we are our behavior. This is who he is, same with Mel Gibson.
Daniel Santoro from Streamwood, Illinois
Richards is nothing more than a victim of a slow news day. What if Chris Rock or Carlos Mencia had to apologize every time they used some racial slur?
Jonathan Gordon from Cincinnati, Ohio
I believe that Mr. Richards simply spoke from his heart. I also believe that he has a legal right to say what he said, even though it is the most repulsive display of verbal bigotry I have ever witnessed. I also believe that all who heard it are equally free to take him to task for such a brutal assault on those in the room and those of African descent. I am one of them, and I was deeply offended. His apology seems somewhat disingenuous to me. It seems that he is sorrier that it blew up in living color than that he did it. I hope that no one hires him to do anything where he could hurt anyone ever again.
What do you think? Send us your thoughts on Richards' rant and apology.