A US reporter is facing backlash after viewers claimed she appeared to use the ‘n’ word in a live on-air blunder as she presented the news of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash death.

Some called for the NBC news anchor to be sacked after a clip of the broadcast quickly went viral as the world reacted in shock to the death of the basketball great along with his daughter Gianna and seven others.

In the clip, the reporter appears begins to say what some claimed was ‘Los Angeles n*****s,’ then quickly corrects herself, saying ‘Los Angeles Lakers.’

The former New Yorker has denied using the racial slur as she apologized for the slip tonight.

Alison Morris wrote that she had gone to say Knicks instead of Lakers by mistake, then corrected herself mid-word, saying ‘Nakers.’

Footage of her on-air stumble was recorded and posted online by swathes of furious viewers, with many demanding that MSNBC fire her and apologize.

She wrote on Twitter: “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.”

Viewers were fiercely divided over whether the anchor had said the ‘n’ word or had become tongue-tied and stumbled over the word.

Viewers were quick to defend her, pointing out her New York career roots and saying she might have been about to call the ‘Lakers’ the ‘Knicks’ and had stumbled over the word as she realized her mistake.

Footage of the broadcast began going viral shortly after the tragic news of Bryant’s death, along with his young daughter and seven other people, in a helicopter crash that emerged today.

All nine aboard the chopper were killed in the tragic incident earlier today in Calabasas, an upscale neighborhood near Los Angeles.

Twitter users swiftly accused the reporter of racism and urged the broadcaster to sack her, saying it was too offensive to be regarded as just a slip of the tongue.

However, not everyone was convinced she said the ‘n’ word as Morris quickly became the target of a social media pile-on.

Some suggested it was possible she had become tongue-tied during the live segment and said ‘nakers’ instead of ‘Lakers’.

Twitter user @BaeAreaNiko wrote: “How do you confuse Lakers with n****s? This is disgusting man….”

Twitter user Tariq Nasheed wrote: “What the hell kind of Freudian Slip was this?”

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