The NFL and its employees continue to stain and strain its relationship with people of color and contribute to the institutional racism that has sparked player protests and thrown the league into a social and political frenzy.
A story that flew under the radar, but must be addressed is the resignation of longtime Colts radio broadcaster Bob Lamey, who abruptly quit last week after using the N-word at work. Lameys ill-advised use of the word has had a domino effect and some collateral damage, which is to be expected when you are covering a sport that is going through touchy racial divides and a contentious struggle for power and dignity between the majority African-American players and the all-white ownership.
NUVO on Twitter
Colts release statement calling Bob Lamey’s use of n-word a “serious mistake.” They also confirm he resigned after the incident, rather than retired. https://t.co/L65Xn58W4R
Via profootballtalk.nbcsports.com, When Lamey used the N-word, he was repeating something he said someone else had told him in the 1980s. Now it turns out that someone else was an auto racing analyst named Derek Daly, and WISH-TV in Indianapolis has announced that Daly will no longer work for the station.
The story Lately told coworkers last week referred to someone using the N-word at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Lamey told the story, N-word and all, and at least one co-worker was offended enough to report it to management. That led to Lameys departure.
Daly reportedly acknowledged this week that he was the person Lamey was referring to who used the N-word in the 1980s. Because of that, WISH-TV is severing all ties with Derek Daly effective immediately, the station said.
The Colts initially praised Lamey for his many years of service to the team and said that he had decided to retire. Only when news broke that Lamey had used the N-word at work did the team acknowledge that the retirement was actually a resignation.
So the Colts franchise also tried to cover this up, which makes matters worse. Colts owner Jim Irsay is no better than Urban Meyer in how he handled this situation. I wonder if the employee even got an apology from the Colts organization.
Pete Sprague on Twitter
This is all in reaction to Bob Lamey “retiring” from the Colts and their attempt to keep his use of the N word quiet. @JimIrsay – Give up the reigns and move on. @GreggDoyelStar Thank you for the article and not giving in to those that are saying it isn’t a big deal.
I can see why the NFL has kept this story under wraps. It does nothing but add fuel to the fire and supports the players’ assertions that they are undervalued and racism is still rampant throughout the culture of the league.
These are the situations that deteriorate our country and hurt the game of football way more than kneeling for the anthem ever could. It’s why the players need to kneel. Why Kaepernick sacrificed his career.
What a fool. Not only did Lamey drop the forbidden N-bomb at work, he was smug enough in his position with the Colts and confident enough in his freedom to be outwardly racist that he used the word in front of a Black employee.
WTHR Channel 13 confirms thatThe Emmis Communications employee, who doesn’t want her identity revealed, told 13 Investigates, “People don’t know the whole truth.” She went on to say, “No person you look up to uses that kind of hurtful language at all. It made me sick to my stomach.”
The employee says Lamey used a racial slur off the air, in a conversation after a radio interview last Tuesday at Colts Camp. She says he was telling a story about when he worked at IMS, sharing what someone else said at the track. “He had asked me if the mics were off and I said, ‘Yeah, I turned everything off. You’re fine,'” the employee recalled. “Bob Lamey’s describing this person saying he was asked in an interview, ‘Do you think anyone’s holding back their speed at IMS during quals? Do you think anyone’s holding back?’ And that person had replied ‘there aren’t any ‘blank’ in this race.”
She says Lamey didn’t say “blank” in retelling that story, and used a racial slur. “He said the ‘N-word,’ yeah. He thought it was OK to use that type of language at work. He was like, ‘Oh I’m so so sorry. I’m so sorry if you’re offended by this. I didn’t mean to offend anyone’ and I was like ‘I’m black and I wouldn’t ever say that word’ and sort of just told him how it hurt me and how I don’t think he should say it ever, even if he’s telling a story,” the radio employee said. “Then once he saw my face and realized he had messed up he had started really like profusely apologizing saying ‘Please don’t tell anybody.’ When I left he said it again, ‘Please don’t tell anybody. Don’t mention this to anyone’. I think he was apologizing so much because he knows it’s wrong and he knows that people lose their jobs for that.”
A day later, last Wednesday, the radio employee emailed the human resources department at Emmis Communications and Lameys run as a legendary radio voice was done. The Colts tried to pull an okey doke and present his departure as a retirement celebration for a legend, when they knew it was just a sad ending for another racist who stayed on the job too long.
Gregg Doyel on Twitter
The Colts knew, and gave Bob Lamey a hero’s goodbye anyway. The Colts knew, and hoped you’d never find out. https://t.co/0TLG7TDCZ4
Lamey had been “The Voice of the Colts” since the team moved to Indianapolis in 1984 until his retirement/firing in 2018. Lamey had previously also served as the radio voice of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers (197784).
In 2018, players are speaking up. Employees are keeping their eyes and ears open for any discriminatory or racially and sexually offensive speech. You cant just be blatantly racist anymore and hiding in the closet doesnt help, because eventually someone will open it and expose your true colors. Just ask former LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, former Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, former Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry, Roseanne Barr or any empowered white person who made their money off oppressing people of color in some way.