Nick Cellini, Chris Dimino and Steak Shapiro were fired from their jobs hosting 790 The Zone radio in Atlanta, after a segment mocking ex New Orleans Saints safety Steve Gleason, who suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease. During the bit, the hosts made fun of the way Gleason speaks using an electronic voice synthesizer. "Smother me, do me a favor," they said at one point.
All three hosts later apologized. "I love the people and city of New Orleans, always have, always will, @team_gleason I will work tirelessly to make this up to you," Shapiro tweeted.
"When and if I do work in radio again, I'm going to donate my first month's salary to Team Gleason and the fight against ALS," Cellini told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "I know that feelings are very raw, and I've very, very contrite.
Gleason, who announced that he had the debilitating disease in 2011, accepted the apologies in a post to the Facebook page of his organization, Team Gleason.
Here's is Gleason's statement in full:
Regarding the DJ skit in Atlanta yesterday. I would like to thank the public for their support. 'Defend Team Gleason' now has been officially redefined. 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. See what we are doing to change that @ teamgleason.org. SG
You can listen to audio of the skit below: