A lowlife Kansas City radio host invoked the 2012 death of Andy Reid’s son Garrett as part of an overarching criticism of Reid’s approach to personal accountability, in yet another sign that sports radio should be made illegal immediately.
Kevin Kietzman is the host of Between The Lines, an afternoon radio show on Sportsradio 810 WHB in Kansas City. The segment in question, Monday afternoon, was on the possible return of Tyreek Hill to the Chiefs. Yahoo Sports reported Monday that Hill could potentially return to the Chiefs by the start of training camp. It is Kietzman’s feeling that the Chiefs are ill-equipped to handle Hill’s return to the NFL, and cited among his evidence that Reid “wasn’t real great” at discipline:
The reference here is to Reid’s eldest son Garrett, who died of a heroin overdose in 2012, at Philadelphia Eagles training camp. Kietzman stops short of blaming Reid for Garrett’s death, but implies that the same difficulties with accountability that he’s observed in Reid’s coaching also “did not work out particularly well in his family life.” Needless to say, Garrett’s drug abuse and death are completely irrelevant to any sane conversation about Reid’s coaching ability, and any connection drawn between the two is wildly irresponsible, to put it mildly. The responsibilities Reid carries as the coach of a player accused of child abuse are completely unrelated to his responsibilities as a parent, in particular as a parent to a 29-year-old son dealing with substance abuse problems, a fraught and complex and excruciatingly painful situation for anyone, no matter their disposition or profession.
Kietzman, in addition to his sportscasting responsibilities, is listed as 810 WHB’s Vice President-Sports Radio on the company’s directory, making it unlikely that discipline for this ugly segment will come from anywhere above. All the same, Kietzman eventually did get around to acknowledging the backlash to his commentary, which was extensive. To the surprise of exactly no one, instead of apologizing, Kietzman is focusing on a handy little straw-man argument—that he has been accused of blaming Reid directly for his son’s death—and is scolding those responsible for making it:
Sports fandom is a brain disease, and sports talk radio is its most dangerous vector. It should be illegal.
UPDATE (June 25, 4:08 p.m. ET): The station announced today that Kietzman has been taken off the air indefinitely as it reviews the matter. The statement also included an apology to Reid and his family.
UPDATE (June 25, 11:59 p.m. ET): Kietzman recorded a not-especially-convincing apology, which was aired on Between The Lines on Tuesday: