WHB’s Kevin Kietzman taken off air indefinitely following comments on Reid’s family

Kevin Kietzman on Tuesday was suspended indefinitely from appearing on his Kansas City sports radio talk show “Between The Lines” on WHB (810 AM), the station announced Tuesday.

The action comes a day after he was criticized by fans in Kansas City and by national media outlets for his comments about Chiefs coach Andy Reid and his family.

In a message on the station’s website, Union Broadcasting wrote: “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.

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“We sincerely apologize to Andy Reid and his family, the Kansas City Chiefs organization and our loyal listeners and share their concerns.”

While discussing suspended receiver Tyreek Hill on Monday, Kietzman mentioned Reid’s family.

“Andy Reid does not have a great record of fixing players. He doesn’t. Discipline is not his thing,” Kietzman said during his 2-6 p.m. show Monday. “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.”

Some interpreted that as Kietzman referring to Reid’s son Garrett, who died in 2012 at age 29 of an accidental heroin overdose while at Eagles training camp, where he was helping the team’s strength coach.

Chiefs offensive lineman Jeff Allen, USA Today, Sports Illustrated and Deadspin criticized Kietzman for his comments.

ESPN’s Louis Riddick posted on Twitter: “Whoever this clown is that said this, you are trash for referencing Andy Reid and his family and his son. You don’t ‘fix’ people ... To speak about another man’s child is out of bounds.”

Kietzman, who is an original investor in the station, told The Star he recorded a statement that was to be played during Tuesday’s show, which had Todd Leabo and Frank Boal filling in as hosts.

“I am sincerely apologizing to Andy Reid and his entire family for my comments yesterday,” Kietzman said in the message, which he posted to his Twitter account. “What I said has been interpreted by many as hurtful, insensitive and cold. And hearing from listeners and re-listening to what I said, I can understand why.

“I can barely find the words to even say out loud what some people believed I was trying to convey. I never mentioned, and would never ever suggest, that Coach Reid was at fault for his son’s tragic death. Or that any parent would be at fault for such an unspeakable tragedy. As a father myself, I cannot image the pain of burying a child. Please know that this was not my intention. It was not even on my mind when I made the comments that I did. And if Coach Reid or any listener interpreted it that way, I again apologize.”

Kietzman also said he wasn’t talking about Garrett Reid as the outrage grew Monday night on Twitter. Reid’s son Britt is entering his seventh season as a Chiefs’ linebackers coach. Both sons were sentenced to nearly two years jail time in 2007 for drug offenses.

“I never mentioned one word about the tragic death of Andy Reid’s son and quickly corrected a caller who did,” Kietzman posted on Twitter after his Monday radio show. “I was talking about the owner’s record of ‘fixing’ players, the team’s record and Andy’s record.

“I was referencing the drug addiction and convictions for dealing drugs. When they served time and Reid hired them to work for his football teams, it was no longer a private matter.”

Nevertheless, fans started a petition asking for Kietzman’s removal from the station. Others proposed fans call, text or email the station to express their displeasure.

The backlash on Twitter was immense. Here is a very small sample of what people were saying:

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