Things can be pretty brutal in the rough world of Philadelphia sports radio. But apparently, they pale in comparison to what’s said on the airwaves in Kansas City.
Sports Radio 810 WHB host Kevin Kietzman attempted to argue Monday afternoon that Chiefs head coach Andy Reid doesn’t have a strong history of helping troubled players. It came as news broke that Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill, suspended due to allegations of child abuse and neglect, would meet with NFL investigators this week.
“Andy Reid does not have a great record of fixing players. He doesn’t. Discipline is not his thing,” Kietzman said. “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.”
Reid and his wife, Tammy, had five children. Their oldest son, Garrett, died in 2012 at age 29 of an overdose, after having struggled with drug addiction for the better part of a decade. Another son, Britt, spent about five months in jail in 2007 and 2008 after pleading guilty to a road-range incident, but by all accounts has turned his life around, spending the past six seasons as a coach on his father’s Chiefs staff (he also served as a camp coordinator intern for the Eagles in 2009).
It’s almost unheard of for sports media pundits or radio hosts to bring up a player or coach’s personal life in order to criticize their performance on a team. Not surprisingly, Kietzman’s comments drew widespread criticism, including calls for him to be fired (which may be unlikely, considering Kietzman is reportedly a part owner of the station).
ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, a former Eagles scout and executive, called Kietzman “trash” for referencing Reid’s family, writing on Twitter: “To speak about another man’s child is out of bounds. Embarrassing what people will do to try and be relevant.”
Riddick was far from alone in criticizing Kietzman. CBS senior NFL reporter Will Brinson called the remarks “absolutely repugnant," NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Amy Fadool Kane said the words were “lower than low,” and 97.5 The Fanatic’s Natalie Egenolf said his comments belong "in no sports talk conversation.”
My colleague Les Bowen, who covered Reid’s entire tenure in Philadelphia, offered just two words in response to Kietzman’s comments: “Dear God.”
Kietzman, who in addition to being a host is also listed as Sports Radio 810′s vice president and sports director, did not respond to a request for comment. But late Monday night, Kietzman jumped on Twitter and made a series of comments in response to the brewing controversy over his remarks.