With things like this I try not to jump to conclusions without really listening to the context of what is being said. The three free agents in questions are Cortland Finnegan, Vincent Jackson and Jonathan Vilma.
All three are partially of African-American decent.
Calling an African-American a monkey has always been seen as a racial slur, there is no nice way to call a black person a monkey. What makes this situation odd is that Sileo is genuinely excited about the possibility of bringing these three guys in for the Bucs.
I would say that he is downright giddy.
There isn’t anything negative in his voice, so it is perplexing that he would use those choice of words. Was it a temporary brain mix up where he wanted to say something else and monkeys came out?
Watch the video.
I am only giving an opinion and Deadspin has a call out to the station to get an explanation, but what I believe is this is a phrase that Sileo uses often.
He might not think it is negative and he might use it to describe players of all races, but it is something he is comfortable saying. That is why when he got excited it just came out so naturally without him realizing the possible backlash for that sort of comment.
Regardless of how Sileo uses the word, he shouldn’t be using it to describe athletes, black, white or yellow.
Unless there is some history I am not aware with Sileo, I am willing to give him a pass and just say it was an honest mistake with no negative intent. But, if there is history of Sileo using these type of phrases inappropriately then it becomes a different story.
When he comments on it, I will update you.
Sielo has been fired.