Two radio broadcasters in Maine, Canada lost their jobs last week after they were heard body-shaming basketball players of a high school team. According to a local news report, Jim Carter and Steve Shaw were the two announcers on WHOU-FM who found their controversial comments receiving attention on social media for all the wrong reasons. In the 40-second audio clip, one of the announcers was heard saying, “two girls out here, extremely overweight. Awful.” The audio clip also recorded how the two laughed and exchanged more derogatory comments without realizing their microphones were on during a game between Central Aroostook and Easton high schools. Body-shaming the two female athletes on the team, certainly did not go down well for the announcers.
WHOU-FM owner Fred Grant told Portland Press Herald that soon after the comments were made, he began seeing complaints almost immediately. Shaw, who is a former athletic director, and Carter, who is a former coach, were broadcasting games for WHOU for about a month before the incident occurred. Grant told the Portland Press Herald that he started getting phone calls immediately. Following the public outrage, the two announcers were fired from their jobs at the radio station.
In a Facebook Post, Grant issued his apology to the public. The post mentioned, “Our mission has been to highlight the best of our communities, our schools, the programs we love, and most importantly – our students. Tonight, two broadcasters made comments that were not only inappropriate, they were also blatantly wrong. Those broadcasters were terminated.”
The post also read, “In all the events we cover, every single one of our students gets better, they learn and they grow. Every day they face the challenges of their situation, whether it be on the court, at home or at school, but the important part is that they keep going.” Grant mentioned in the Facebook post that all of their students deserve their respect. He also mentioned that one must keep in mind that the students are living through the “most challenging times” in history. “Not only are they struggling through a pandemic, they also have the challenges of living in an age of social media which many of us would say that’s even worse than the pandemic.”