ATLANTA – A day after the cast of an Atlanta sports radio show was fired after mocking former Washington State Cougar, and New Orleans Saints safety Steve Gleason, he issued a statement on the Team Gleason Facebook page.
“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 underfunded 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”
The 36-year-old suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ALS patients lose the ability to speak and move, which has happened to Gleason.
The show, Mayhem in the AM, was broadcast on 790 The Zone Monday morning. In a statement, General Manager Rick Mack said the station regrets comments made about Gleason.
During the segment, two of the on-air personalities took a call from a third host who pretended to be Gleason by using a voice that sounded automated. Gleason uses a computer to communicate verbally.
The host pretending to be Gleason told a series of jokes and eventually asked the two others to do him a favor by smothering him.
All three took to Twitter Monday evening to apologize to fans and others who criticized the segment. Listeners and critics turned to the station's Facebook page to call for the hosts' termination.
Gleason played for the Saints between 2000 and 2006. Team Gleason, an organization named after the former NFL player, is geared toward finding a cure for ALS, raising awareness of the disease and connecting patients to technology, equipment and services tailored to fit their needs.