Two radio commentators in Houlton, Maine have been fired following cruel and inappropriate comments regarding the weight of high school basketball players.
Sports commentators Jim Carter and Steve Shaw were live-streaming a girls’ junior varsity basketball game between Central Aroostook and Easton on WHOU 100.1 FM’s website when the exchange began.
"Two girls out here, extremely overweight," one of the men was heard saying in a clip of the broadcast posted on social media. "Awful."
The second broadcaster continued, "How come you don’t get uniforms that fit the girls?"
Both men can be heard laughing in the short clip.
The clip began getting traction on social media and thrust the tiny Northeast town that boasts just under 6,000 residents into the spotlight.
The station's owner of 11 years, Fred Grant, confirmed to the Washington Post that he began receiving phone calls from outraged listeners that night.
Grant terminated both male broadcasters, telling the Portland Press Herald that announcers are hired to discuss the game, not comment negatively on players.
“It’s in writing. It’s verbalized. It’s repeated,” Grant told the outlet. “They knew the deal. It’s a colossal failure by them.”
He then posted a public apology on the station's Facebook page.
"Our mission has been to highlight the best of our communities, our schools, the programs we love, and most importantly — our students," the statement read. "Tonight, two broadcasters made comments that were not only inappropriate, they were also blatantly wrong. Those broadcasters were terminated."
Grant continued by apologizing on behalf of the broadcasters, adding that students right now are living through a tough time in history and deserve respect.
"Not only are they struggling through a pandemic, they also have the challenges of living in an age of social media which many of us would say that’s even worse than the pandemic," he said.
Grant concluded by asking anyone who shared the soundbite to please delete it from the internet.
"While it’s wrong that it happened, I’m going to ask each of you to help us shift the focus back on the excellence we see every day in our students," Grant wrote. "If you’ve shared the video post, I’m hoping you will take it down, not to downplay the incident, but to better help all of our students move on to the important work and events in their lives."
Grant did not return calls from TODAY for comment.
This is not the first incident in recent days where school-aged women have been publicly shamed about their bodies.
Earlier this month, a Mississippi middle school offered female students shapewear to to address "body image" concerns.
Parents were given the option to choose whether their daughters “may receive the healthy literature, shapewear, bras, and other products” through the school’s counselors.