Dan Sileo leaves WDAE-AM after calling black free agent football players "monkeys" on air
(UPDATE: An executive at Clear Channel Radio says Dan Sileo has left his position as morning host on WDAE-AM. Rock Riley of Bright House Sports Networks is expected to fill in Wednesday morning and management says they are actively looking for a permanent replacement.)
It was a passing reference that the host says he didn't realize he made until it was over.
But WDAE-AM sports radio talk host Dan Sileo is in the middle of controversy again, after noting on air that he was excited the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might sign three African American free agent players, calling them "those three monkeys."
The full quote: ""If they get those three monkeys, I'm good. I'm ready, man. I'm ready. I want those guys. Those guys are great players.''
In a short Twitter message to me, Sileo wrote it was a slip of the tongue "I didn't even realize I said it 'til someone told me."
Sports blog Deadspin already has a story, along with my colleague Tom Jones; both feature a statement from WDAE program director Steve Versnick: ""WDAE would like to apologize for Dan Sileo's ill-chosen on-air remarks earlier this week. He absolutely meant no disrespect to the players and he is sincerely embarrassed and upset that his off-the-cuff remarks might be taken as hateful, disrespectful, or in any way racist. Dan and the station regret any offense to the players; to the Bucs organization; and to the people of the Tampa Bay community.''
Sileo was briefly suspended from the station back in 2009, after declaring the Buccaneers might be sold because the team's owners had lost $400 million with disgraced financier Bernie Madoff. The team's owners posted a strong denial and WDAE owner Clear Channel retracted the story.