Steak Shapiro, Nick Cellini and Chris DiMino of 790 The Zone were let go after broadcasting knock-knock jokes about the former Saints player, who has ALS
Atlanta sports radio station, 790 The Zone, is down three "Mayhem In the AM" hosts after they performed an on-air bit mocking former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason, who has ALS.
Steak Shapiro, Nick Cellini and Chris DiMino were fired for their insensitive attempt at humor, including knock-knock jokes where "Gleason" begged to be put out of his misery and wondered if he'd be alive on Thursday.
One host, Nick Cellini tweeted an apology, “My apologies to everyone. It was a stupid attempt at humor that backfired. Emphasis on stupid.”
ALS, commonly referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, according to the ALS Association. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. Patients in the later stages of the disease can become completely paralyzed.
Gleason, who can only communicate through a machine that tracks his eye movement, wrote Peter King's "Monday Morning Quarterback" column, detailing his courageous battle living with ALS. Gleason said it took him four hours to write the 4,500-word piece.
The ousted hosts mocked his efforts in a fake "publicity tour."
"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," Rick Mack, 790 The Zone senior vice president and general manager, 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."
Hear the bit below: