Radio host faces backlash after evoking death of Andy Reid's son while criticizing coach
Things can be pretty brutal at times in the rough world of Philadelphia sports radio. But apparently, they pale in comparison to what’s said on the airwaves in Kansas City.
On Monday afternoon, Sports Radio 810 WHB host Kevin Kietzman attempted to make the point 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, will meet with NFL investigators this week.
But to apparently make a point about Reid not being able to help Hill with his personal problems, Kietzman got personal by bringing Reid’s children into the discussion.
“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 the age of 29 of an overdose after struggling 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).
Radio host called "trash:" 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 from across the sports media world, including calls for him to be fired (which is 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 Egenoff 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.
Reid was hired by the Chiefs in 2013 after being fired by the Eagles in 2012 after spending 14 seasons as the team’s head coach. During his tenure, Reid led the Eagles to a Super Bowl appearance in 2005 and five NFC Championship games. His overall record as a head coach over 20 seasons is 195 wins and 124 losses.