Three hosts at Atlanta radio station 790 the Zone have been fired for partaking in an on-air skit mocking former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason.
Gleason, a one-time pro safety who suffers from ALS at the age of 36, was the subject of a routine many listeners and NFL players deemed offensive.
A swift Internet backlash led to angry calls flooding the radio station, and the trio was initially suspended indefinitely. Mere hours later, they were terminated.
Rick Mack, 790 The Zone Senior V.P. and G.M., said in a statement:
"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 immediately suspended the three individuals involved 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."
Hard to imagine why they would mock the wheelchair-bound Gleason, but in any case, Steak Shapiro, Nick Cellini and Chris DiMino are now without jobs.
The Atlanta Falcons also issued a statement on the matter:
“The Falcons are disappointed in the comments made about former Saints player Steve Gleason on a local Atlanta radio station Monday morning."
"The content concerning Mr. Gleason was completely inappropriate and is not representative of the views of the Falcons organization, nor does it represent the way we conduct our business on and off the field."
"To single out Steve is totally lacking in taste and discretion.”