The three Atlanta radio hosts who were fired Monday for mocking former Saints player Steve Gleason in an on-air skit, have all apologized. Gleason, who played for six NFL seasons, reavealed in 2011 that he suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, which is a nerve cell disease that affects voluntary muscle movement.
Nick Cellini, Chris Dimino and Steve "Steak" Shapiro, known as "Mayhem in the AM" on 790 the Zone, took to social media to make amends for their horrible lapses in judgment (via PFT).
“I deeply regret the ill attempt at humor from this morning's show,” Cellini said on Facebook hours after he was terminated. “I have personally apologized to Steve Gleason and his wife. The comments were insensitive and offensive and do not represent my personal views regarding the severity of the disease.”
Dimino, also via Facebook, added: “The sheer stupidity of trying to put this as a failed attempt at humor is not lost on me. My apologies go out first to Steve Gleason and his family. The weight of what he and they are going through did not need to be made heavier or worse by the pure and straight insensitivity of my actions.”
Shapiro, meanwhile, tweeted his mea culpa:
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....— steakshapiro (@steakshapiro) June 17, 2013
18 yrs ago @chrisdimino named the radio station, I helped start it, today it ends but so grateful, hate if I disappointed anyone....— steakshapiro (@steakshapiro) June 17, 2013
What is so ironic is that I went to Tulane, love New Orleans and love the @steve_gleason story, what a moronic 2 mins, I am truly sorry....— steakshapiro (@steakshapiro) June 17, 2013
Rick Mack, the senior vice president and general manager of 790 the Zone, the Falcons' flagship radio station, said in a statement that he deeply regretted the "offensive programming," and the Falcons did the same, calling the skit "completely inappropriate and "not representative of the views of the Falcons organization."
Gleason, who no longer has the use of his hands due to ALS and has to write using his eyes (he explains here), has graciously accepted their apologies.
"Regarding the DJ skit in Atlanta yesterday," Gleason wrote on Facebook Tuesday. "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"