Steve Gleason's classy response to offensive skit



Posted on June 19, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 19 at 2:21 PM

ATLANTA -- Former NFL player and Gonzaga Prep Graduate Steve Gleason responded to a distasteful skit aired by three radio DJs in Atlanta. 

Gleason suffers from ALS, or Lou Gehrigs Disease, a degenerative condition that forced him into a wheelchair and even affected his voice.

The three radio hosts mocked Gleason’s computer generated voice and made light of his deteriorating disease. They have since been fired and have issued apologies for the skit.

“It was something that--an ill attempt at humor. Offensive,” said Steak Shapiro, one of the fired radio hosts. “If I was driving in my car, I would have thought, ‘who came up with that? That’s not funny.’ I would have been offended. And, you know, obviously you walk a fine line between trying to be somewhat on the edge and making sure you’re tasteful enough. And we blew.”

Steve Gleason released a statement on Tuesday on his Team Gleason Facebook page accepting the hosts’ apologies. It reads:

“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.”

Gleason went on to talk about his mission in bringing the world’s attention to his condition.

“In the past 36 hours lots of people have been talking. Let’s 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.”

Gleason will be back at Black Rock in Coeur d’Alene next week for the Steve Gleason Charity Golf Tournament. All of the proceeds from the tournament will go to people who suffer from ALS.

CORRECTION: KREM 2 incorrectly reported that the three DJs worked for Sirius. Sirius informed KREM 2 that the men have no affiliation to their company.