Padres respond after radio host's tweet causes controversy over suicide insensitivity

Posted at 1:24 PM, Mar 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-28 20:27:59-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The San Diego Padres are responding after a radio host sent out what they are calling an offensive tweet.

The tweet, sent out by a Twitter account known as “Kevin Klein LIVE," was a photo of the Coronado Bridge with the text “JUMP*....*to a new morning show.”

“Mental illness and suicide are not joking matters,” said San Diego Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler and General Partner Peter Seidler.

The Padres entered into an agreement with Entercom, the company that owns the radio station, for pre and post-game coverage.

Read the full statement from the Padres below:

“We find the comments made last night by Entercom’s employee offensive, insensitive and completely unacceptable. Mental illness and suicide are not joking matters. Additionally, we’ve expressed our concerns to Entercom around the tone and direction of the station they have chosen to create. It’s important for our fans to know that our agreement with Entercom to move to 97.3 was an opportunity to expand our pre and postgame coverage and it was done well before we knew the format, the tone or the talent lineup. We believe Entercom owes San Diego an apology. And, even though we do not have ultimate control over Entercom’s programming beyond our game broadcasts, we apologize for the behavior of the station.”


Entercom also sent 10News a statement regarding Kevin Klein's original tweet: 

"We do not condone the comments made by Kevin Klein which were insensitive and Kevin has apologized. On behalf of The Machine, we also sincerely apologize to our listeners and the entire city of San Diego. We understand that these comments were distasteful and hit at the core of an important issue that affects many people in our city."

On Wednesday, Padres executive Chairman Ron Fowler told the Mighty 1090 that the team would look into the arrangement with 97.3 The Machine.

"We apologize to the community and that's not the way we like our business done and that's not the way we like our station affiliate to operate," he said.

Dean Nelson, who heads the journalism department at Point Loma Nazarene University, said Klein and the station were likely trying to get attention for their new show.

He said it was hard to fathom the Padres signing a deal with a station with a format it didn't know.

"I thought it was pretty naive of the padres to not know or claim not to know what format was going to be. Or at least the tone," he said, noting the Padres likely signed with the station to reach a new demographic. 

Bub's at the Ballpark said on Twitter that it would be cutting ties with the station. 

Meanwhile, Mighty 1090 host Darren Smith said on-air the station would "be interested" in getting the Padres back, if the team terminates the contract with 97.3.

But Nelson said he didn't see that happening in the near future, with sales contracts signed for the season.