The cast of an Atlanta sports radio show has been fired after mocking a former Washington State Cougars star and former NFL player who has Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Steve Gleason grew up in Spokane, was a linebacker on the 1998 WSU Rose Bowl team and played seven seasons in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints, but has since developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and at the age of 36 has lost the ability to speak and move.
But the cast of “Mayhem In The AM,” thought this situation was perfect for a comedy bit – where one of the hosts would pretend to be Gleason, in a bit where they told an unsavory knock-knock joke.
Listeners and critics bombarded the station’s Facebook page to call for the hosts’ termination. And the station management agreed: All three hosts took to Twitter on Monday evening to apologize.
The actual Steve Gleason has given interviews about the work of his foundation, Team Gleason. They’ve raised money to make life a little better for ALS patients.
For example, Gleason told KXLY, “We’re sending an ALS patient to Mt. Rainier.”
He says these trips are a way to give the families of patients some good memories and raise awareness.
In case you’re wondering what it’s feels like to be him, Gleason posted a piece on Sports Illustrated’s website where he said “Right now, I’m happy. My life is not easy, but it’s awesome.”
Report by Seattle’s Morning News producer Owen Murphy.