Posted: Jun 17, 2013 10:16 PM by Steven Albritton
Updated: Jun 17, 2013 10:22 PM
They say it was a joke, but no one was laughing. Three Atlanta sports radio hosts are out of a job after a tasteless skit about former New Orleans player Steve Gleason. There was public outcry after they mocked gleason and his ongoing battle with Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS.
The former Saint can't walk, or talk and is forced to use an eye tracking device to communicate. Hours before the bit aired, a piece, written by Gleason, was published on Sports Illustrated's website.
"My first thoughts were how can these guys be so stupid," 1420 AM Radio Host Scott Prather said, "When you offend a guy that's famous and paralyzed and dying that also played for a rival team of what you're the flagship station of it's bound to just throw gasoline on the fire so to speak."
The tasteless segment drew the attention of "Who Dat" nation and the New Orleans Saints organization. They released a statement reading in part, " The New Orleans Saints support Steve Gleason not only for what he means to our organization and our city, but more importantly what he means in his tremendous fight to find a cure for ALS."
In the end, Prather sees a silver lining to this unfortunate situation.
"It's going to draw more attention to Steve. It's going to draw more attention to this long column he wrote for sports illustrated and more attention to his foundation. So, in the end it'll probably raise the awareness and bring a little bit more money to the fight against ALS." Prather said.
Ironically, the Saints open the 2013 NFL season at home against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons organization also released a statement condemning the radio bit--calling it, "completely inappropriate."