INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indy 500 driver turned analyst Derek Daly has been linked to the racial slur that led to Bob Lamey’s controversial departure from the Colts.
Daly sat down with CBS4 Thursday afternoon at his home to tell us his side of the story as he recalls it. He claims that while he has used the n-word in the past, Lamey inaccurately attributed it to him in this case.
CBS4 does not condone the use of racial slurs in any circumstance. Here is the full statement released by Daly:
Last night WISH-TV severed ties with me after former sports broadcaster Bob Lamey apparently inaccurately attributed a racial slur to me during an interview in the early 80’s. It was reported on their web site that I confirmed this. Both of these reports are factually incorrect. On this subject, I was never interviewed by Bob Lamey. The slanderous statements made by Bob, and now being attributed to me, are not only factually incorrect, but offensive.
The facts are: In the early 80’s, after I had recently relocated to the United States, I was interviewed by radio reporter Larry Henry and I was asked about my situation with my new American team. I responded by explaining that I was a foreign driver now in America, driving for an American team, with an American crew, and with an American sponsor – and that if things did not go well, the only “n***** in the wood pile” would be me. At the time, I meant that I, as the new foreigner on the team, would shoulder the blame and I would be the scapegoat. This was not in any way shape or form meant to be a racial slur. This phrase was commonly used in Ireland, Britain, and Australia.
When I used that phrase in the early 80’s, I had no idea that in this country that phrase had a horribly different meaning and connotation, as it was commonplace in Ireland. After moving to the United States, I quickly learned what a derogatory term it was. When I was first informed of this, I was mortified at the offense I might have caused people. I have therefore never used the word since. I made this mistake once, but never again.
As someone lucky enough to travel and work around the world, I have good friends and colleagues from almost every race, nationality, and religion. I have always treated everybody with equal respect and they have done the same with me. Anyone who questions that should talk to them. Similarly, I hope I have demonstrated my character during the past 20 years that I have spent working on television with a range of professionals of all backgrounds.
Finally, I want everyone to know I deeply regret and sincerely apologize for what I said more than three decades ago.
Respectfully, Derek Daly