ATLANTA – The cast of an Atlanta radio sports-talk show has been fired after mocking Steve Gleason, a former New Orleans Saints and Washington State player who has Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The show, “Mayhem in the AM,” was broadcast on 790 The Zone Monday morning. In a statement, general manager Rick Mack said the station regrets comments made about Gleason, 36, who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and has lost the ability to speak and move.
Fired hosts Nick Cellini, Chris Dimino and Steve “Steak” Shapiro each apologized.
Gleason wrote on the Facebook page of his nonprofit organization, Team Gleason, that he accepts the apologies.
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“I would like to thank the public for their support. ‘Defend Team Gleason’ now has been officially redefined,” Gleason wrote in his statement. “Additionally, the DJs have provided genuine apology. Received and accepted. We have all made mistakes in this life. How we learn from our mistakes is the measure of who we are.
“I think everyone can learn from this event. Its clear to me that, on a national & global scale, ALS is not understood, which is part of why its under funded and largely ignored. In the past 36 hours lots of people have been talking. Lets talk about this . . . There are zero treatments for ALS. If you take any action as a result of this event, I prefer it to be action to end ALS.”
According to ESPN.com, Gleason uses a technology that allows him to use his eyes to write.
During a two-minute segment Monday, Cellini pretended to be Gleason doing “knock, knock” jokes.
Dimino and Shapiro interviewed “Gleason,” as imitated by Cellini using a voice that sounded automated.
A radio-station statement said “our owners, sponsors and partners in no way endorse or support this kind of content.”
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