The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Dexter Manley apologizes for insulting Troy Aikman on WTOP (updated)

Update, 3:30 p.m.

In an email this afternoon, Manley apologized for his comments.

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 knows me knows that’s not who I 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.
Dexter Manley

Original post:

Much of Dexter Manley’s media career has been based on a flirtation with the boundaries of good taste. He was fond of threatening to break the private parts of younger male media members. He recently told WTOP that he would skip watching preseason football, instead choosing to have sex with his wife. Another local media member and I recently were chatting with Manley about the Redskins’ team name; his response — in defense of the team name — involved a word that I can’t publish here.

Monday, though, Manley broke over those boundaries during an appearance on WTOP, in which he called former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman — the color analyst during Sunday’s Redskins broadcast on Fox — a “queer.”

This happened during a live appearance around 9:40 a.m., an appearance that had previously been filled with jokes and laughs. Manley — a regular guest on the station — had talked about how the Broncos result made him kick his dogs, and how Peyton Manning makes defenders pee in their pants. He also forgot Kyle Shanahan’s first name; “see, I had this brain surgery, so you’ve got to forgive me,” Manley apologized.

The hosts attempted to end the spot with another light-hearted moment.

“Was it a big jinx that Troy Aikman was doing the game, the former Cowboy?” Manley was asked at the end of the segment.

“I think Troy was a queer,” Manley said.

The hosts immediately made it clear that this wasn’t a topic for humor, and encouraged Manley to step back.

“I’m sorry about that,” he said. “I take that back….I apologize.”

As a result, the station’s longtime newsroom director, Jim Farley, said that Manley would no longer be appearing on the station, writing in an email and on Twitter that the station was “shocked and stunned,” and that Manley would not be on the station again.

Manley — who gave a touching speech at Joe Gibbs’s roast last month — has talked frequently in recent months of his two brain surgeries and their impact on his life, including on WTOP’s air.

“I lose my memory and all of a sudden it comes back,” he told the station in August. “I could be driving and not know where I’m going, or what’s the purpose of where I”m going to. It hasn’t been easy.”

Update, 12:20 p.m.

The station released a statement on the situation. Here it is.

This morning in a live interview former Redskins player Dexter Manley made an offensive and derogatory comment. He was immediately challenged by WTOP news anchors Mike Moss and Bruce Alan. We were shocked and stunned and we apologize to our listeners that this happened on WTOP.
WTOP has contacted a representative for Manley and informed her that he will not be returning.