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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An off-the-air racial slur prompted the immediate retirement of longtime Indianapolis Colts radio voice Bob Lamey last weekend Patrick Willis Jersey , team officials and Lamey’s attorney confirmed Wednesday.
Local attorney James Voyles issued a statement acknowledging the 80-year-old Lamey used “inappropriate” language during a conversation with a friend at a local radio station and apologized immediately.
“Bob does want to acknowledge that while repeating a story while off-the-air last week to a friend at a local radio station, he used an inappropriate word that had been used in the story,” Voyles’ statement read. “Bob immediately apologized to the people involved for the comment and would hope that this error in judgment would not tarnish his long-held reputation in the sports community where he has been known as an accurate and passionate reporter.”
A report on a local television’s station website, WTHR.com, claimed an employee at Emmis Communications heard the comment and reported it to the radio station’s human resources department, which then contacted the Colts.
It’s not the first time Lamey’s words have caused controversy. But what happened last week the Colts found intolerable. The announcement of Lamey’s retirement after 31 years with the Colts came Sunday.
He was replaced on Monday night’s radio broadcast by Matt Taylor.
Initially, the Colts attempted to paint his departure as the celebration of a Hall of Fame broadcasting career that spanned five decades. But after word leaked about the conversation and Voyles issued his public statement Wednesday morning, the Colts immediately took a different tack.
“In regards to Bob Lamey … first and foremost, the Colts deplore and do not tolerate the use of any racial slur — in any context,” Colts chief operating officer Pete Ward wrote in an email. “Bob has had a long and storied history in our community, but he made a serious mistake. The Colts are deeply disappointed the incident took place and offer our sincerest regrets to all who were impacted by Bob’s lapse in judgment.”
Ward went on to say that the Colts only decided to comment after Lamey made his account.
Previously, there had been praise for Lamey as his retirement was announced on the weekend.
“Bob Lamey is a legend and icon,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said in Sunday’s release. “(His) name is synonymous with Indianapolis Colts football.”
Former players weighed in, too, as Lamey said simply “it’s time” to retire.
Players such as former punter Pat McAfee and right tackle Ryan Diem immediately weighed in on Twitter to praise Lamey. Reggie Wayne Max Unger Jersey , the Colts’ second-leading receiver all-time, told local news station Fox 59 that Lamey was “the absolute best.”
Lamey’s previous outbursts included use of an expletive during a broadcast at the end of a Colts loss to the San Diego Chargers in September 2016. The next day he apologized to fans on the air and asked for their forgiveness.
He came close to uttering the same word during Indy’s come-from-behind win over New England in the 2006 AFC championship game after running back Dominic Rhodes lost the ball near the goal line.
“He fumbled the freakin’ football,” Lamey said before realizing teammate Jeff Saturday recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown.
There was another off-the-air outburst in December 2010 when Peyton Manning threw four interceptions in a loss to Dallas. Lamey privately questioned whether the NFL had “figured out” Manning and contemplated whether he should be benched in favor of backup Curtis Painter.
But his most recent comments were too much for the Colts.
“Bob publicly acknowledged that last week he repeated an inappropriate word when telling a story,” Ward wrote. “He immediately apologized to the people who heard him use the word, and then promptly retired as the Colts play-by-play announcer.”
Lamey served in that capacity for 31 seasons, from 1984-91 and again from 1995-2017 and was a fixture on local airwaves since the mid-1970s.
He broadcast games for the city’s hockey team, the WHA’s Racers, from 1974-77 — finishing those duties just before Wayne Gretzky joined the team. He served as the play-by-play man for the Indiana Pacers from 1977-84, and he also was part of the Indianapolis 500’s radio broadcast team for years.
For 23 years, Lamey served as the sports director for WIBC radio, and in 2008, Lamey was inducted into the Indiana Sports Broadcasters and Writers Hall of Fame in 2008.
Taylor, who has done sideline and studio work for the team, had taken over as the Colts’ play-by-play voice on the preseason broadcasts. Greg Rakestraw, another local radio announcer Harry Carson Jersey , will replace Taylor in the television booth.
The future is back.
Twenty years ago, Ken Griffey Jr. and the Seattle Mariners‘ marketing department put on one of the most memorable promotions in franchise history — which is saying a lot, since Funny Nose Glasses Night in 1982 drew more fans than Gaylord Perry’s 300th win two nights earlier — with Turn Ahead the Clock Day.
Instead of wearing retro uniforms like most teams do for Turn Back the Clock Day, the Mariners imagined what things might look like in 2027, when they will celebrate their 50th anniversary.
The Kingdome was turned into the “Biodome.” A DeLorean drove actor James Doohan, who played Scotty on “Star Trek,” to the mound to deliver the ceremonial first pitch.
The Mariners’ Moose mascot was replaced by Marty the Mariners Martian. Griffey was referred to as “Digit 24” instead of his last name by the public-address announcer.
Player positions were called quadrants. And the Mariners and their opponent that night, the Kansas City Royals, wore futuristic, untucked uniforms that Griffey, the Hall of Fame center fielder, helped design.
According to Kevin Martinez, the marketing director for the Mariners in 1998, it was Griffey’s idea to change the Mariners’ colors from navy, teal and white to crimson Darian Thompson Jersey , black and silver. Junior wore his hat backward and spray-painted his glove and spikes silver.
“There were always some surprises,” Griffey recently told The Athletic. “You never knew what was going to happen that night. It was like, ‘Stay tuned.'”
Twenty years later, the Mariners and Royals will reprise Turn Ahead the Clock Night when they meet Saturday night at Safeco Field.
Royals outfielder Jorge Bonifacio is certainly looking to the future after making his season debut in Friday night’s 4-1 loss to the Mariners.
Bonifacio missed the first 80 games of the season while serving a Major League Baseball suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug in spring training.
“I’m so excited to be back with the team,” said Bonifacio, who batted .255 and hit 17 home runs as a rookie last season.
Bonifacio batted .392 in 13 games for Triple-A Omaha before being activated. He batted fifth Friday, going 0-for-3.
“We’re glad to have him back,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He was swinging very well (at Omaha).
“I mean, the kid hit 17 homers last year. … Yeah, he was going to hit in the middle of the order, until all this surfaced.”
Bonifacio played left field Friday to give Alex Gordon a day off, but likely will be in right field Saturday.
“We are going to move him around. He’s going to play,” Yost said. “He’s going to play some right, play some left. What difference does it make?”
On the mound, right-handers Jason Hammel of the Royals (2-9 Mason Crosby Jersey , 5.34 ERA) and Felix Hernandez of the Mariners (7-6, 5.10) will be looking for vintage performances.
Hammel, who won 15 games for the World Series champion Chicago Cubs in 2016, has lost four straight starts — in which the Royals have scored a total of five runs. The graduate of South Kitsap High School in nearby Port Orchard, Wash., is 3-3 with a 3.53 ERA in eight career appearances against Seattle, including seven starts.
Hernandez, the American League’s 2010 Cy Young Award winner, is 6-6 with a 3.15 ERA in 15 career starts against the Royals. That includes an 8-3 victory on April 10 in Kansas City in which he pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and six hits.
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