Announcers fired for mocking weight of high school athletes

HOULTON, Maine (AP) — Two radio announcers calling a Maine high school girl’s basketball game were fired after they mocked players for being overweight.

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

One commenter called two players on the court “extremely overweight,” and that was followed by additional 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 told to focus on the game play and not comment negatively about players.

“It’s in writing. It’s verbalized. It’s repeated,” Grant said. “They knew the deal. It’s a colossal failure by them.”

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

“I don’t even know what to say,” Carter told the Press Herald. “Hopefully everybody can get through this and be OK.”

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

An apology issued by WHOU said its mission is to highlight the best of its communities, “and most importantly — our students.”

“Two broadcasters made comments that were not only inappropriate, they were also blatantly wrong,” the station said. “Those broadcasters were terminated.”