He told BBC Radio Five Live that he could not remember saying what he did.
Apologising, he said it was not "an intentional comment".
"I have worked with more black players, I would think, than any other manager in the country and I bet none of them has ever heard me say it to them," he said.
He was known for signing up black players when he was a coach at West Brom.
Big Ron, as he is nicknamed, has been in professional football for more than 40 years.
He has been involved in talking about five World Cups, six European Championships and many other big Champions League matches and FA Cup finals.