During the weekly Washington-area radio broadcast, former Redskins defensive end Dexter Manley call NFL analyst and Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman “a queer”.
In a report by SI.com, Manley was providing “analysis” of the Redskins’ loss to the Denver Broncos this past Sunday, which was a game Aikman called for Fox.
While on the air, when asked by a hosts Mike Moss and Bruce Alan if Aikman’s presence was a jinx for the Redskins, SI.com reported that Manley said, “he thought Troy Aikman was a ‘queer’.” The WTOP host immediately requested that Manley apologize on the air, the host stated that “they don’t want anyone to endorse that anyone think like that” about Aikman. At first, Manley declined to apologize, it was as if he thought his comment had humor behind it. He eventually rejected his statement by saying "No. I'll just say I take that back," but he eventually apologized while still trying to chuckle his was out of the stituation.
Jim Farley, WTOP’s Vice President of News and Programming, replied to listeners via Twitter stating, the station was “shocked and stunned” and that Manley will not be making any more appearances after his over-the-top comment.
Later, Manley made a statement:
“In an interview with WTOP radio Monday, while intending to be funny, I used a slur to refer to Troy Aikman. It was wrong and insensitive. Anyone that know me knows that’s not who am in my heart or mind. I want to apologize to Troy, but I mostly want to apologize to anyone else I offended. Like a lot of people in these times, I have to realize that what I thought was funny years ago doesn’t work now. I’ll do my best to make sure it doesn’t happen again and hope you will accept my apology.”
Cyd Zeigler, co-founder of Outsports.com, said in an article by WTOP, "You just don't expect that language in any professional environment, whether it's in a radio station or in a professional sports locker room..These guys are professional. They are adults. Most of them know gay people [and] have gay family members." As Manley noted in his apology, what people may have thought was funny and humorous years ago, was and is offensive to LGBT people and those who care abou them. Changing the way we talk to one another and holding each other accountable is what it's going to take to change the discourse within sports.