Radio station fires hosts after mocking ALS-stricken former NFLer

June 17, 2013 at 8:43 PM
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ATLANTA, June 17 (UPI) -- An Atlanta radio station Monday fired three sports show personalities after they mocked a former NFL player suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease.

Rick Mack, general manager of 790 The Zone radio in Atlanta, announced Nick Cellini, Chris Dimino and Steak Shapiro had been fired after making fun of former NFLer Steve Gleason.

During the segment, the trio used a robotic-sounding voice to imitate Gleason, who speaks with the aid of an electronic voice synthesizer, and told knock-knock jokes with punch lines such as "Smother me, do me a favor," CNN reported.

Gleason, 36, played for the New Orleans Saints from 2000-06. In 2011, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

"We deeply regret the offensive programming that aired this morning on 'Mayhem in the AM' on 790 The Zone, related to former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason and his battle with ALS," Mack said in a statement.

"We suspended the three individuals involved immediately following their comments and have since terminated their employment. 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," the statement said.

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