Calgary radio host apologizes for Roughriders 'death' comment
Dean (Boomer) Molberg suggested he hoped the Riders' plane would crash
A Calgary sports radio personality apologized Thursday for making what he called a "stupid and idiotic" on-air comment suggesting he hoped the Saskatchewan Roughriders' plane would crash and four of the players die.
Dean (Boomer) Molberg, a morning show co-host at Sportsnet 960 The FAN, made the comment Wednesday while discussing the Stampeders' upcoming CFL playoff game against the visiting Roughriders, said program director Kelly Kirch.
Molberg apologized on the air Thursday and in a statement on the station's website.
"It was an attempt at being funny, which in the end was neither funny nor appropriate. Not even close," Molberg said on the website.
"It was clearly not thought out, for if it was I'd have never said it. There is no excuse for it, and I'm not in any way looking to defend my actions.
"This was in no way, shape or form a ratings ploy or an attempt to garner attention to myself or the radio station. I made a mistake."
Four members of the Saskatchewan Roughriders -- defensive end Gordon Sturtridge, centre/tight end Mel Becket, guard Mario DeMarco and offensive lineman Ray Syrnyk -- were killed in a plane crash in 1956 along with Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive guard Calvin Jones.
A total of 62 people died when the plane went down into Mount Slesse near Chilliwack, B.C., as players were returning from an all-star game in Vancouver.
All four Roughriders had their numbers retired by the club. The tragedy was the subject of the documentary, "The Crash of Flight 810."
There was no immediate word on whether Molberg would be disciplined by the station.
Kirch issued an apology on the station's Facebook page, calling Molberg's comment "offside."
"It was a misguided attempt at humour," he said. "Our station, our company and of course myself as the program director do not condone this comment. It was uncalled for and embarrassing for our entire staff here at the station.
"I would like to offer my sincere apology to go along with Dean's on-air apology that was aired today."
Stampeders president Lyle Bauer also issued a statement Thursday.
"On behalf of the Calgary Stampeder Football Club, I would like to state that we do not in any manner condone the highly inappropriate comments made Wednesday morning by an on-air employee of Sportsnet 960 concerning the Saskatchewan Roughriders," he said.
"These comments do not reflect the views of the football club or of the Canadian Football League and we can not stress enough that they have no place in our sport.
"We pride ourselves on fierce rivalries and intense competition but also our great partnerships with the other Canadian Football clubs including the Roughriders. We look forward to Sunday's West Division semifinal at McMahon Stadium against Saskatchewan and know the contest will be hotly contested but played in the spirit of sportsmanship that we value so highly."
The winner of Sunday's game will visit the B.C. Lions on Nov. 18 in the Western final.
The Grey Cup will be played Nov. 25 in Toronto.