(WIBW) -- A Kansas City sports radio host has been suspended for comments he made on Monday involving Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and Reid's family.
Kevin Kietzman of WHB-AM (810 Sports) received local and national backlash for comments made on his show "Between the Lines" while discussing Tyreek Hill's reported meeting with NFL investigators this week and the organization's past player issues.
“Andy Reid does not have a great record of fixing players. He doesn’t. Discipline is not his thing. It did not work out particularly well in his family life and that needs to be added to this as we’re talking about the Chiefs. He wasn’t real great at that either. He’s had a lot of things go bad on him--family and players. He is not good at fixing people. He is not good at discipline. That is not his strength. His strength is designing football plays.”
The comments unleashed a social media firestorm, specifically on Twitter, and were widely interpreted as Kietzman referring to Reid's late son, Garrett, who died of an accidental drug overdose in 2012.
Garrett had been working as the Philadelphia Eagles' assistant strength and conditioning coach, and died at the team's former training camp facility at Lehigh University.
Both Garrett and Andy's son Britt were hired by Andy in Philadelphia, and both had served time in prison for drug-related and other charges. Britt now serves as the linebackers/outside linebackers coach in Kansas City.
Late Monday night, Kietzman addressed the unrest on a Twitter thread, saying he did not mention the death of Garrett and "quickly corrected a caller who did." Kietzman then claimed he was referring to "the owner's record of 'fixing' players, the team's record and Andy's record."
Holy hat what’s going on here? I never mentioned one word about the tragic death of Andy Reid’s son and quickly corrected a caller who did. I was talking about the owner’s record of “fixing” players, the team’s record and Andy’s record. I was referencing the drug (1/3)— kevin kietzman (@kkwhb) June 25, 2019
The replies to the three tweets as of 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday have totaled nearly 2,400.
On Tuesday, Union Broadcasting, the parent company of WHB-AM, issued a statement apologizing for Kietzman's comments and announcing the decision to take him off the air:
"We are aware of the controversial comments made by Kevin Kietzman during yesterday’s broadcast of Between the Lines. We have decided to take the immediate step to take Kevin off the air until further notice as we review this matter.
"We take Kevin’s comments and those of all on-air staff seriously. Kevin’s comments were clearly not to his or our standards. Please know that we will take necessary appropriate actions.
"We sincerely apologize to Andy Reid and his family, the Kansas City Chiefs organization and our loyal listeners and share their concerns."
Kietzman's normal 2-6 p.m. time slot instead featured fill-in guests on Tuesday.
The 20-year sports radio host tweeted an apology on Tuesday, saying he re-listened to his words and understood why listeners were upset.
With sincerest apologies to coach Andy Reid. pic.twitter.com/sVYpYBChbU— kevin kietzman (@kkwhb) June 25, 2019
Kietzman also noted his work in the Kansas City community with teen suicide prevention organizations and added he believes the worst thing he could do would be "to blame a fellow parent for a tragedy they could not possibly prevent."
In response to Kietzman's on-air comments, an online petition was made to have him fired.
Kietzman is an original investor in WHB-AM and remains a minority owner.