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#pounditThursday, March 30, 2023

Radio host Tony Massarotti apologizes for joke that was seen as racist

Tony Massarotti during an interview

Longtime radio host Tony Massarotti issued an apology on Monday for a joke he made on the air that was interpreted by many to be racially insensitive.

Massarotti and co-host Michael Felger did their “Felger & Mazz” show on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston from different locations on Friday. Felger joined the broadcast remotely from a hotel in New Orleans.

Toward the end of the show, which is simulcast on NBC Sports Boston, Massarotti noticed two black men sitting behind Felger in what must have been some sort of shared space at the hotel. Massarotti joked to Felger that “the last time you were around a couple of guys like that they stole your car.”

Massarotti issued an apology during Monday’s show. He said he was trying to make an inside joke about how Felger’s car was stolen in New Orleans last fall. The 55-year-old said his comments were “insensitive and hurtful.”

“I owe everyone an apology. It’s not who I am. It’s not who we are. I can tell you that until I’m blue in the face. Those of you who know me believe it. Those of you who don’t won’t, and you probably shouldn’t,” Massarotti said. “If I saw and heard what you did, I’d probably feel the same way. … I meant, if anyone cares, to poke fun at you, Mike. It didn’t come off that way. It came off as something far broader and ignorant. I’m regretful of that.

“All I can tell you is it’s not who I am. I got a little silly and stupid at the end of the show and was trying to be a wise a– like I often am, and it just came out wrong.”

You can see the full video below:

Massarotti and Felger have been hosting “Felger & Mazz” since The Sports Hub’s launch in 2009. Massarotti previously covered the Boston Red Sox for the Boston Herald from 1994 through 2008. He also writes for the Boston Globe and was a part-time color analyst for Red Sox games on NESN last season.

Both Massarotti and Felger are known for delivering unapologetic, controversial takes. The Red Sox have even trolled them over it in the past.


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