If you get the idea that sports talk radio is out of control in Boston these days — especially at WEEI, the Boston Red Sox flagship radio station — you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong.
The list of incidents at WEEI recently is quite long. The most recent is WEEI’s Christian Fauria — an ex-New England Patriots player — using a stereotypical Asian accent last week in a gag revolving around Tom Brady’s agent, Don Yee. Fauria was suspended and five sponsors have now cut ties with the network because of Fauria’s antics.
That was the last straw for WEEI, which on Wednesday announced it would cease live programming for 12 hours on Friday so station employees can attend a mandatory all-day sensitivity training. Here’s the announcement from WEEI:
Good on you, WEEI. Well, bad on you for all the stuff that led up to this, but good on you for making a grand gesture that includes *everyone* on staff. Because as Awful Announcing notes, the list of offenses includes a lot of folks:
Fauria’s offensive impression was far from the first instance of crude, distasteful, or discriminatory comments uttered on WEEI’s airwaves. There was the time John Dennis and Gerry Callahan compared an escaped gorilla to an inner-city Metco student. The time Lou Merloni said he was weighing whether to attack protesters with a baseball bat. The time Kirk Minihane questioned whether Adam Jones had fabricated a story of racial abuse from Red Sox fans. The time Minihane called Erin Andrews a “gutless bitch.” The time Alex Reimer calledTom Brady’s 3-year-old daughter “an annoying little pissant.” The times WEEI personalities have callously attacked female journalists such as Charlotte Wilder and Britni de la Cretaz.
There’s a good chance that sports-obsessed Boston radio listeners will just tune over to a competing station Friday. If that happens, here’s hoping the guys at Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub have learned since their “Roy Halladay deserved to die” bit.
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