Saturday September 30, 2023

Boston Sports Radio Host Suspended for “Insensitive” Comments

  • Tony Massarotti was suspended without pay this week.
  • All Beasley's Boston on-air talent will complete sensitivity training.
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Beasley Media Group has suspended sports radio personality Tony Massarotti for making a racist joke about Black Americans. 

Beasley has also mandated sensitivity training for all Boston-based employees at the company, which operates 62 radio properties, reaching 20 million listeners per week.

That’s the latest in a Boston sports radio controversy that’s been percolating since Friday when Massarotti made a racially insensitive joke on 98.5 The Sports Hub. 

Massarotti told “Felger and Mazz” co-host Mike Felger, who is white, he should be suspicious of two Black men sitting behind him since Felger’s car was stolen on a trip to New Orleans last November.

“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,” said Massarotti, cracking himself up.

After the comment spread on social media, Massarotti took to the airwaves Monday to apologize for his “insensitive and hurtful” comments.  

“I owe everyone an apology,” Massarotti said. “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.”

It wasn’t enough. 

Felger opened Tuesday’s show by announcing his co-host would be suspended without pay for the rest of the week.

Felger also read a memo from Beasley management stating: “Because Beasley Media strives to create a diverse and inclusive workplace, and these comments went against its core values, the company has decided to suspend Tony for the rest of the week without pay. 

“In addition, all of our on-air personalities at Beasley Boston will be taking sensitivity training to redouble our efforts to create a culture of understanding.”

Felger added he was sorry he didn’t do more to correct his partner at the moment. 

“I had a chance there – in a split second moment – to do something, and I guess I froze,” he admitted. “I feel bad about that.”

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