When the Buffalo Bills made Kathryn Smith a full-time coach in January, Cleveland sports radio host Kevin Kiley did not like the hiring. “She couldn’t possibly be qualified to the same level that a man could be qualified to do that,” Kiley said on his Jan. 21 show on 92.3 The Fan. Thursday night, Kiley went on Cleveland 19 to announce that he was resigning for unrelated reasons, and blasted his employer for censoring him.
The interview with Cleveland 19 sports director Tony Zarrella can be found here and here. Kiley clarified that he respected women, but stood by his opinion that NFL players wouldn’t listen to a female coach. He accused his employer of censorship, saying he was asked not to respond to criticism of his Kathryn Smith take on his show. Zarrella was baffled by the backlash:
Your show, first with Chuck [Booms], now with Ken [Carman], is based on—I don’t want to say igniting the audience, but certainly you have ignited it, because you have opinions you stick to, and generates conversation.
I could ignite Deadspin’s audience by typing “tits” 300 times and hitting the publish button. It would definitely generate conversation, though it wouldn’t be a shock if my bosses asked me what the fuck I was doing.
Here’s a transcript of Kiley’s explanation:
In early November, I resigned at WKRK, effective the end of this month. I sent them a letter in early November and really, for reasons that were unrelated to this. My principles, their principles of doing business, they don’t match. And it was tough for me to work there. So I have resigned and I’ll be ending, I think at the end of the month. Maybe at the end of this show. We’ll find out. We’ll find out about this.
But there’s a bigger issue here, let me get to this issue here. Look, throughout the history of radio and broadcasting, from Orson Welles to Howard Stern, people have stood up for the right to say and the right to argue and the right to make points. And people have lost their jobs, and opportunities, and they’ve been chastised for that. And they sacrificed. Throughout the history of broadcasting, you have these people. And I have no right to accept censorship. I’ve never been censored. In 35 years, I’ve never been censored, and I shouldn’t have been censored for this. And I have no right to accept censorship based on what broadcasting is. And nor should you accept censorship, ever. You should make sure that the people on the radio are telling you the truth as they see it. Now, you’re gonna argue with them and you can disagree with them, but don’t let the program director there, don’t let the general manager, don’t let some clown in New York tell them what to say, and then you think it’s their opinion, or what not to say. That’s what happened here, and I’m not accepting it. So, demand the truth. We’ll see how they feel about the truth, trust me, if I’m on the air tomorrow morning.
This guy really thinks he’s fighting back against the thought police by expressing his belief that women aren’t competent enough to coach in the NFL. Bless him.
H/t to Robert
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