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Friday, October 31, 2014

Atlanta radio hosts fired for mocking Steve Gleason

Steve GleasonThe hosts of an Atlanta sports radio show were fired on Monday for mocking former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason, who has ALS.

The station’s VP and GM initially suspended the hosts indefinitely, but he later fired them.

“We deeply regret the offensive programming that aired this morning on “Mayhem In The AM” on 790 The Zone, related to former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason and his battle with ALS. We suspended the three individuals involved immediately following their comments and have since terminated their employment. 790 The Zone, our owners, sponsors and partners in no way endorse or support this kind of content. We sincerely apologize to Mr. Gleason, his family and all those touched by ALS.”

Gleason, who played for the Saints from 2000-2006, is unable to speak or use his hands, so he uses a computer that allows him to type using his eyes and that provides a voice. Gleason typed a lengthy guest column for Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback, which prompted the hosts of “Mayhem in the AM” on 790 the Zone in Atlanta to do a mock interview where they pretended as if Gleason called into their show.

The hosts proceeded to replicate Gleason’s robotic voice. No surprise, they received immediate backlash for the offensive and insensitive bit.

One of the show’s hosts, Steak Shapiro, continued to tweet on Monday without appearing to address the incident. Another host, Nick Cellini, did apologize via Twitter.

The horrible decision and pathetic attempt at humor by this show is not even worth castigating at this point. Anyone can see how despicable this was. I will add one personal note to this story. I have only blocked a handful of people on Twitter in my life. Someone really has to be negative, bother me, or harass me in order to motivate me to that extreme. One of the hosts of this show was the first person I ever blocked on Twitter, and that happened two years ago. I am not at all surprised by his judgment in executing this awful bit.



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