The truth has emerged about why longtime Indianapolis Colts play-by-play announcer Bob Lamey abruptly quit Sunday. And it involves an Emmis employee and Lamey’s alleged use of a racial slur. At first Lamey said it was simply “time” to retire. However, when the Emmis employee, who does not want to be identified, saw how Lamey was being praised, she could not stay silent.
According to several local reports and The Washington Post, the Emmis employee says she had a conversation with Lamey off the air after a radio interview at Colts camp. The Emmis employee says Lamey was telling a story about when he worked at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The story was about what someone else said at the track. Channel 13 in Indianapolis reported on what the Emmis employee then said: “He had asked me if the mics were off and I said, ‘Yeah, I turned everything off. You’re fine.’ 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 ‘N-word’ in this race.” The Emmis employee Lamey was speaking to is African American.
She says Lamey 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.”
Lamey tried to convince the employee not to tell anyone. She went to Emmis’ human resources department and they contacted the Colts, who Lamey works for. Then things unraveled for the now former announcer.
And the Colts changed their tune with this statement: “First and foremost, the Colts deplore and do not tolerate the use of any racial slur — in any context. While it’s our long-standing policy to not make public comment on personnel matters, Bob publicly acknowledged that last week he repeated an inappropriate word when telling a story. He immediately apologized to the people who heard him use the word, and then promptly resigned. Bob has a long and storied history in our community, but he made a serious mistake. We are deeply disappointed the incident took place and offer our sincerest regrets to all who were impacted by Bob’s lapse in judgment.”