Advertisers fired for mocking high school athletes’ weight

Two radio announcers calling a Maine high school girl’s basketball game have been fired after they mocked the players for being overweight.

The comments were made by two broadcasters from Houlton radio station WHOU-FM Thursday night during a game between teams from Central Aroostook and Easton near the Canadian border, the Portland Press Herald reported.

A commentator called two players on the pitch “extremely overweight”, and this was followed by further derogatory comments and laughter. The comments were captured in a tweeted video.

Radio station owner Fred Grant told the newspaper he started getting calls about the comments almost immediately. He said he fired announcers Jim Carter and Steve Shaw after the broadcast.

Grant said announcers who call basketball games are urged to focus on the game and not comment negatively on players.

“It’s in writing. It is verbalized. It’s repeated,” Grant said. “They knew the case. This is a colossal failure on their part.

Reached by phone, Carter said he apologized to the players.

“I don’t even know what to say,” Carter told the Press Herald. “Hopefully everyone can pull through and be okay.”

Shaw could not immediately be reached for comment by the Press Herald.

A published apology by WOU said its mission was to bring out the best in its communities, “and most importantly – our students”.

“Two broadcasters made comments that were not only inappropriate, but also blatantly untrue,” the station said. “These broadcasters have been fired.”

Naomi C. Amerson