Posted June 18, 2013

Atlanta radio hosts fired for mocking Steve Gleason

New Orleans Saints
Steve Gleason was diagnosed with ALS in November. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Steve Gleason was diagnosed with ALS in November. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

The co-hosts of Atlanta sports-talk radio show “Mayhem in the A.M.” on 790 The Zone have been fired, one of them tweeted, in the wake of the controversy over a skit that made fun of former Saints player Steve Gleason.

Gleason is this week’s guest columnist for Monday Morning Quarterback. He wrote 4,500 words for the piece … using his eyes, and some special computer technology. Suffering from the devastating effects of ALS, Gleason is an inspiration to just about anyone who has met him or knows his story.

But all of that did not stop the show’s hosts from taking some shots at Gleason Monday morning, during a horribly ill-advised segment.

AUDIO: 790 The Zone mocks Steve Gleason

Rick Mack, VP and general manager of The Zone 790, released a statement Monday afternoon admonishing the behavior.

“We deeply regret the comments made by Mayhem In The AM this morning on 790 The Zone regarding former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason,” Mack wrote. “790 The Zone, Lincoln Financial Media, our sponsors and partners in no way endorse or support the unfortunate and offensive commentary concerning Mr. Gleason this morning. The members of the show involved with this incident have been suspended indefinitely pending further management review of their actions.”

Scott Fujita, Gleason’s former teammate with the Saints, tweeted the following after the incident occurred:

The station and its hosts were met immediately with significant blowback on Twitter, in addition to those angry posts on multiple message boards. Nick Cellini, one of three listed co-hosts of the morning show, tweeted this response:

276 comments
nileme441
nileme441

There shows sucked anyway it's about time

DaM
DaM

Glad I don't live anywhere near Atlanta.  Had I heard this trash from two obviously low wit, low brow neanderthals who somehow managed to retain jobs on-air, I think I would have been awaiting them outside the studio.  Considering what ALS does to the human body, perhaps if they were to temporarily lose what this horrible illness takes from you.  In their case, the ability to communicate verbally would be wonderful.


Boodah
Boodah

Wait. It's ok to make fun of Dr. Hawking....as many have done, but not Mr. Gleason?

joeshine730
joeshine730

Navy Seal Team 6 is needed to eliminate these two low life scum ball announcers. Do it

joeshine730
joeshine730

Those scum bag radio hosts should never work again.  Someone should take them out.

JasonMacBride
JasonMacBride

The founding fathers must be turning over in their graves wondering how so many people can know so little about "freedom of speech" and the First Amendment. It has nothing to do with private employers and their employees. 

JoshuaScott
JoshuaScott

In comedy everyone is fair game. All you political correctness nazis can suck it. If the guy took hits in the NFL then he can probably take a piss poor joke by a couple of radio hacks.  Meanwhile all you thin skins can't keep your panties unbunched. Grow up, grow a pair, let go of those haunting childhood memories of us ragging on your lack of intelligence, athletic ability and/or fashionable clothes. GO REDSKINS.

Bazelope
Bazelope

Nobody creative enough to frame out this "sketch" is dumb enough to not clearly understand the insensitive nature of the deliverable.  The station made the correct move.  As anyone with a post 8th grade education understands, "Stupid never takes a day off".  Cut bait and move on.

Nick Celini, YOU are an idiot, a buffoon and the worst kind of bully! I hope Scott Fujita has the fortitude to take appropriate steps with you!



Anaximenes1
Anaximenes1

this is the trash you get with atlanta "sports" radio---embarrassing.  the city of losers.

Craig
Craig

While we can defend or argue the merits of free speech, and even the value of a free marketplace where sponsors and listeners can make their own choices, the fact is that these men crossed over a line that shouldn't need to be explained. Their actions were more than simple tasteless.  They set out to be cruel, abusive, and destructive...particularly to someone who had done nothing to deserve those actions.  There is, more or less, an unwritten rule that we don't make fun of those less fortunate, especially when their condition is not the result of their own actions.  Laughing at those with physical disabilities or injuries is way across any common sense line of basic human decency, and these men were long past that point.

This has little to do with the reality of marketing, market share, or even sponsor's perspective, and everything to do with being well beyond the the common sense bounds of basic human decency.  It was NOT a "mistake."  If was a conscious decision to abuse someone, assuming that everyone listening would find "making fun of an unfortunate situation" would somehow be considered funny.  Since that's their thinking...assuming they are capable of thought...there is little question they should pay the price, and termination is neither extreme nor unwarranted.

OK
OK

Apply the same penalties to Wall Street bankers - minus the Golden Parachutes, lifetime access to the company's Lear jets, and lifetime company allocations (from stockholders) for home security, toiletries, and box seats at the Lincoln, the Met, Yankee Stadium, Citifield, Giants Stadium, and Fenway Park.

Action
Action

It's good to know that people can still get fired for something in America.  Sometimes getting fired is a good lesson.  I did something stupid when I was 18 working at a grocery store.  It taught me a lesson and embarrassed me big time.  It was better to learn that lesson at 18 than at 28 or 38.

TRobMacho
TRobMacho

When you work for someone else, and represent them, you need to know where the line is of what actions are disciplined with warnings, and what offenses result in termination. I have seen overall good employees get fired for one offense - its up to the employer to determine what their tolerance level is. What's the precedence for next time? For a company in the public spotlight, that tolerance level gets smaller and smaller. Blame it on twitter, but that is today's world. You don't sweep worldwide embarrassment under the rug. The company HAD to fire them to save their credibility. You can disagree, but we don't own that company. Sometimes you tell them you are sorry it worked out this way, but it's time to go.

dunno
dunno

WTF is wrong with you guys? This has nothing to do with anything except for Steve Gleason having ALS and these radio hosts making of him. It was in bad taste and the hosts knew it was. The station fired them. End of story.

Here's a Youtube link for you guys who don't know/remember Steve Gleason's finest NFL moment .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIGgBhNtOP4

authenticdev
authenticdev

compelled to say @bnceo must have read The Four Agreements by D.M. Ruiz. "Only you give words power" The amazing amount of anger people display, even to the point of advocating violence, as they take personally the words of others will only slow down when we stop giving other people the power to enrage us. 

Hendo
Hendo

I listened to about 10 seconds of their "comedy" bit and changed the station. The same option everyone else had. Who cares?

secret08
secret08

i don't know why these people were fired. this is what the american people want--shock jocks. 

rbd5821
rbd5821

Have we forgot that Tosh.O has made a great living from making fun of everybody. True that sports radio is not the forum for this type of "open season" entertainment. There is humor in everything. The timing was way off. They pushed the envelope and lost.

g1818miller
g1818miller

These guys are the bottom of the rung between the 3 sports stations and just took another step down. Maybe if they all get fired the station can get some new talent and actually have a good show.

nadmusic
nadmusic

Why make fun of him? To make fun of someone who is forced to speak through a computer and eat through a feeding tube is not different from the kind of person who tortures a dog or blows us a frog and laughs. It's an internal sickness and imbalance a lack of empathy is not to be encouraged. Stop defending him it's a lost cause. This is the end for this host for a while, a good wake up call for being inhumane. he is a liability. I bet it's not the first warning they got. Of course it's not. Good riddance. 

jack32
jack32

Don't give these Mayhem guys the free speech defense. When John Rocker used his free speech all three of these guys took the politically correct stand so they could blast Rocker every chance they could. Several times a year they still take shots at Rocker.
Karma, it will get you so watch what you say boys.

6marK6
6marK6

There are so many of these "shock jocks" out there that have no limits and sometimes they go too far. And you can spew that "just flip the dial" apologist nonsense if you want, but sometimes you have to step in and say enough, there are limits. And this is not a freaking 1st amendment issue, the owners of the station fired the idiots.

shutyomowf
shutyomowf

About time. They were obnoxious and terrible on the radio. I hate that it came at the expense of Steve Gleason, but the end result is long-overdue.

DaM
DaM

@Boodah Completely agree with you there.  Either or is not right

WillWillis1
WillWillis1

@joeshine730 Seriously? They should literally be killed for making fun of someone? Even after they apologized for it? It was horrendous judgment to say the least, but I can't fathom your suggested penalty fitting the crime.

Also, are you willing to apply that moral standard consistently? Because in your worldview there are very few people worthy of life. 

HeyJoe
HeyJoe

@JasonMacBride Yup.  Anyone who has been gainfully employed for longer than about 10 minutes and has an IQ greater than their shoe size knows there's no such thing as freedom of speech at work.  Nobody is stopping these radio hosts from saying whatever they want about Gleason on their own time. 

Cool
Cool

@JoshuaScott So are you also attending pickets with the Westboro Baptist group this week?  Are there some dead soldiers you would like to mock and call gay?  Sorry dude, but you are the loser, and you just displayed your lack of intelligence while calling out others.

donald5
donald5

@JoshuaScott Well Josh... Let me know when a close relative of your's passes away.  I am planning on starting my Gallagher tribute comedy routine but it involves caskets.  You see... I find funerals and I rush in with a big hammer and a watermelon and then....WHAM!!!!.  I smash it on top of the coffin.  It is hilarious because in comedy, everyone is fair game!!!

KeysSteven
KeysSteven

@authenticdev @bnceo  Agree with keeping composed, perspective, but isn't Mr. Ruiz' statement just a new spin on "Sticks & stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me?"  Even as kids, nobody ever liked that phrase.  Always a good thing when mean-spirited, cluckheads get the boot (or "resign").   

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

@secret08 What advertisers want are hosts who can get a lot of listeners without making them all hate the advertisers.

These guys were fired because if they weren't, a lot of angry people who may not even listen to the show would boycott the advertisers, which means the advertisers have to pull their ads from the show or the station in general, which means there's no money to pay the bills, defeating the purpose of running a radio station.


matt37
matt37

@rbd5821 It's an arbitrary line, but I've yet to see Tosh.O make fun of a disabled/handicapped person.  Regardless, these clowns made fun of a regional hero and they paid the price.

bnceo
bnceo

@nadmusic Very different.  One is words, another is an act of violence.  Big BIG difference.  Only you give words power.  If you ignore it, it loses it's power and effect.  

yummypeaches
yummypeaches

@6marK6 Thats kind of it . These shock jocks do have limits ....and once you cross the line you lose your job . It happens all the time in the name of ratings . Whoever thought that making fun of a man who has lost most of his senses is funny is a total idiot and how they didn't know they crossed the proverbial line is beyond out of touch . 

bnceo
bnceo

@shutyomowf Great.  Happy you feel that way.  You must love pain if you continue to listen to them, even after you don't like them.  Oh, what's that?  You just went to a different channel?  Keep it there.  Don't ruin it for someone else.

DaM
DaM

@WillWillis1 @joeshine730 Kill them?  Oh no.  Give them a taste of what it is they are laughing about...yes.  Something to let them understand the paralyzing feelings of ALS, perhaps the test could be on their ability to communicate verbally?  That would be a bit more appropriate than death...DESPITE THEIR APOLOGY

matt37
matt37

@HeyJoe @JasonMacBride I agree with both of you guys.  That whole "It's America, I have free speech" nonsense is misquoted/misapplied every day.  These guys are free to say whatever they want-and their bosses are free to fire their dumb arses.

yummypeaches
yummypeaches

@Anaximenes1 NO . This is the trash you get will all of Atlanta radio . Even the classic rock station is filled with right wing commentary in the morning . City of losers is kind of a broad brush . City of really bad radio is spot on .

matt37
matt37

@Bearsclone @secret08 There are consequences to everything we do or say.  These clowns learned what their consequences would be.

nadmusic
nadmusic

@bnceo @nadmusic Adolf Hitler did a lot of damage with his rhetoric. If words are harmful one must speak up agains them otherwise one is complicit in the damage they do. As far as ALS, please get informed. People with ALS do not with to be made fun of.

6marK6
6marK6

@bnceo @shutyomowf The owners of the radio station decided that the tasteless remarks made by their employees was causing a negative reaction to their station and thus potentially causing them to lose money, So they were fired. What, if you say something stupid and offensive to your boss you can't be fired?

List
List

@bnceo where do you stand on hate-speech and propaganda?

yummypeaches
yummypeaches

@donald5 @yummypeaches @Anaximenes1 No I just don't like politics with my morning drive . You seem to have mixed up Sports Illustrated with Red State . I think your a tiny person who hides behind the internet Donald .

donald5
donald5

@yummypeaches @Anaximenes1 Does somebody not wike conservatives???  Poor wittle baby?  You seem to have mixed up sports illustrated with the huffington post

ParishToni1
ParishToni1

@JoshuaScott @nadmusic @bnceo  

When you OWN the radio station, you have every right to limit what your employees say, especially over the air. If they want frreedom of speech, they can do their little skit in front of city hall.

JoshuaScott
JoshuaScott

@nadmusic @bnceo Adolf also censored his critics, and limited the free speech of his opponents. Since no one is the arbiter of all knowledge and information, no one gets to decide what is correct to say, or where the line gets drawn

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

@6marK6 @bnceo @shutyomowfAgreed.  

You see?  Even approaching all this amorally and unsentimentally, the firing of these morons is still perfectly justified, simply on the basis of plain old matter-o-fact incompetence.

dunno
dunno

@bnceo @List Are you serious? I really can not tell if your are just trolling or you are just a horrible person. 

List
List

@bnceo would it help if we "just went to a different channel"?

List
List

@bnceo what about Gordon Gee? What about John Galliano?