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WDAE radio host Dan Sileo fired over monkey comment

11:42 PM, Mar 13, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Radio host Sileo fired over racist comment

AM 620 Radio Host Dan Sileo

UPDATE: 10 News has learned that Dan Sileo has been fired after making a racially-charged comment on morning radio.

WDAE Program Manager Steve Versnick confirmed the firing, saying, "Dan Sileo is no longer with the station. We wish him well."

Listen to Dan Sileo's controversial comment by playing the above clip.

Tampa, Florida - Tampa sports talk station WDAE 620 AM is apologizing for a comment made by morning drive host Dan Sileo Monday morning during the 8 a.m. hour.  Sileo referred to three potential Tampa Bay Bucs free agents as "monkeys."  Jonathan Vilma, Vincent Jackson and Cortland Finnegan are African American.  In a text exchange with 10 News this morning, Sileo said he could not comment further.

What do you think of Dan Sileo's comment? Sound off on our Facebook page.

WDAE emailed 10 News a statement this morning that said  "WDAE would like to apologize for Dan Sileo's ill-chosen on-air remarks earlier this week. He absolutely meant no disrespect to the players and he is sincerely embarrassed and upset that his off-the-cuff remarks might be taken as hateful, disrespectful, or in any way racist.  Dan and the station regret any offense to the players; to the Bucs organization; and to the people of the Tampa Bay community."

Sileo is a former defensive lineman at the University of Miami who played in 10 games for the Bucs in 1987.  Sileo has been with WDAE since 1998.  In Oct 2009, he was suspended for a week by the station following comments he made on-air about the Glazer family which owns the Bucs

The controversy is similar to an incident on Sept 5, 1983 when Howard Cosell called Washington Redskins WR Alvin Garrett a "little monkey" during a Monday Night football game. Garrett is African American.

Watch: Howard Cosell's little monkey racial slur video

Cosell refused to apologize for the comment saying it was an affectionate term he used to describe diminutive athletes, both white and black, and that he also used the term to describe his grandson. Following the 1983 season, Cosell left the Monday Night Football telecast.

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