This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
photo courtesy: dailyme.com
ATLANTA — Atlanta radio hosts associated with a sports show in Atlanta have been fired after running a segment mocking former Washington State and New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason, who is battling ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The segment came on the heels of Gleason guest-writing sports writer Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback Column, which went live Monday morning. Gleason, who is paralyzed, described his battle with the disease in a 4,500 word column written entirely by a computer that tracked his eye movement.
The shows hosts opened by talking about Gleason’s column, and then pretended he was calling into the show.
A robotic voice “called in” with knock-knock jokes. At one point, one of the hosts said they only do knock-knock jokes on Thursdays.
“I may not be here on Thursday,” the voice responded.
The voice also said “I blame Gregg Williams,” and said “Smother me, do me a favor.”
In the final “joke,” the voice said, “I’m going to Hell,” before the segment ended.
News of the segment spread quickly through social media, igniting a firestorm on Twitter from enraged listeners and former teammate Scott Fujita, who tweeted: “I’m going to reserve judgment until I hear this morning’s playback from @790TheZone. But right now I’m enraged.”
After the hosts were fired, the station released a statement:
“We suspended the three individuals involved immediately following their comments and have since terminated their employment,” the statement read. “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.”