05/06/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT
Just when it seemed the Dixie Chicks controversy was dying down, a Colorado Springs, Colo., radio station has suspended two disc jockeys for playing the music of the Texas trio -- violating a ban that went into place after the group criticized President Bush.
On March 10, on the eve of the war in Iraq, lead singer Natalie Maines, 29, told a London concert audience she was "ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas."
KKCS station manager Jerry Grant tells the Associated Press, "We pulled their music two months ago, and it's been a difficult decision because how can you ignore the hottest group in country music."
Although there has been some discussion about whether to reinstate the Chicks on the KKCS playlist, station DJs Dave Moore and Jeff Singer became impatient, Grant says.
"They made it very clear that they support wholeheartedly the president of the United States. They support wholeheartedly the troops, the military. But they also support the right of free speech," the station manager said.
The station reportedly received a couple hundred calls about the suspension, with an overwhelming majority -- 75 percent -- in favor of playing the Chicks' music, reports AP.
Still, Grand says Moore and Singer will remain on suspension for a couple of days. He adds that KKCS does intend to play the group's music eventually.
"Most stations are starting to play them again anyhow a song here, a song there," he says. "I just have a problem with the way this was done. We would have put them in anyhow. But we'd like to do it on our terms."
Since the Chicks began the U.S. leg of their international concert tour late last week, protests outside their concert venues have been minimal.