Tony Massarotti is apologizing this week for racially insensitive remarks he made on air during 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Felger & Mazz” show.
The Boston sports radio host has been under fire after he asked his co-host Michael Felger, who was doing the show remotely, about two black men sitting behind him at a hotel.
“I wanna know now who the two guys behind you are,” Massarotti asked Felger, who appeared on the show from a New Orleans hotel, according to WCVB. “They can’t hear us, right? Okay, so I would be careful if I were you. Because the last time you were around a couple of guys like that, they stole your car.”
His apology would soon follow:
“Late in the show on Friday, I made some comments that angered and upset some people, and rightfully so,” Massarotti said. “I wish I could take them back. I can’t.
“They were insensitive, they were hurtful, and frankly they hurt the cause for those of us who believe in racial and social equality and all those things, and I do. I’m on that side of the line, which is what made this thing so difficult in so many different ways.
“So I owe everyone an apology. It’s not who I am. It’s not who we are. I can tell you that until I’m blue in the face — those of you who know me will believe it. Those of you who don’t, won’t and you probably shouldn’t. If I saw and heard what you did, I would feel the same way and you have a right to be upset.”
Massarotti stated he was trying to “poke fun” at Felger as “an inside joke” after the hosts claimed that Felger had his car stolen in New Orleans in the fall.
“The only thing I can really do is apologize for it,” Massarotti continued. “Again, when we’re talking about these sorts of issues, there is a line somewhere, and I can assure you, I stand on the right side of it. That doesn’t excuse what I said or did on Friday.
“I meant, if anyone cares, to poke fun at you, Mike. It didn’t come off that way. It came off as something far broader and ignorant. I’m regretful of that.”
He then apologized to Felger for “dragging” him into the situation with his comments.
“I got a little silly and stupid at the end of the show and I was trying to be a wiseass like I often am, and it just came out wrong,” Massarotti said. “I wish I could give you a better answer than that, because we’re in a business where we should be careful about what we say and how we say it, and I wasn’t. I sincerely apologize and I will do my best to make sure that it never happens again.”
Massarotti was suspended without pay for his comments. In addition, Felger said he and the rest of his on-air coworkers at 98.5 The Sports Hub will be taking sensitivity training in wake of Massarotti’s remarks.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.