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Colts longtime announcer Bob Lamey retired after using racial slur in off-the-air conversation

INDIANAPOLIS -- Longtime announcer Bob Lamey, who has announced his retirement as voice of the Colts, used a racial slur while retelling a story last week to a "friend."

Lamey's attorney released a statement Wednesday morning acknowledging Lamey used "inappropriate" language during an off-the-air conversation last week and immediately apologized to those involved.

"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.

Colts chief operating officer Pete Ward issued a statement that said, in part, that the Colts "deplore and do not tolerate the use of any racial slur -- in any context.

"While it is the Colts' strict and 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 retired as the Colts' play-by-play announcer.

"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 judgement."

The 80-year-old Lamey retired last weekend. He had been the Colts' radio play-by-play voice from 1984 to 1991, and again from 1995 through the first preseason game on Aug. 9.

He was replaced in the booth by Matt Taylor on Monday night.

Previously, there had been praise for Lamey as his retirement was announced on Sunday.

"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, 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.

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.